*openMSP430 :: Overview

Project maintainers


Name: openmsp430
Created: Jun 30, 2009
Updated: Sep 7, 2016
SVN Updated: Aug 17, 2016
SVN: Browse
Latest version: download
Statistics: View

Other project properties

Category: Processor
Language: Verilog
Development status: Stable
Additional info: ASIC proven, Design done, FPGA proven, Specification done
WishBone Compliant: No
License: BSD


The openMSP430 is a synthesizable 16bit microcontroller core written in Verilog. It is compatible with Texas Instruments' MSP430 microcontroller family and can execute the code generated by any MSP430 toolchain in a near cycle accurate way.

The core comes with some peripherals (16x16 Hardware Multiplier, Watchdog, GPIO, TimerA, generic templates), with a DMA interface, and most notably with a two-wire Serial Debug Interface supporting the MSPGCC GNU Debugger (GDB) for in-system software debugging.

While being fully FPGA friendly, this design is also particularly suited for ASIC implementations (typically mixed signal ICs with strong area and low-power requirements).
In a nutshell, the openMSP430 brings with it:
  • Low area (8k-Gates), without hidden extra infrastructure overhead (memory backbone, IRQ controller and watchdog timer are already included).
  • Excellent code density.
  • Good performances.
  • Build-in power and clock managment options.
  • Multiple times Silicon Proven.
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The complete tar archive of the project can be downloaded here (OpenCores account required).

The following SVN command can be run from a console (or GUI):

svn export openmsp430


  • The Core's ChangeLog lists the CPU updates.
  • The Tools' ChangeLog lists the Software development tools updates.
  • Subscribe to the following RSS feed to keep yourself informed about ALL updates.


Being fully compatible with the original MSP430 architecture, TI's official documentation is applicable: SLAU049F.PDF

In addition, the openMSP430 online documentation is also available in pdf.

Features & Limitations


  • Core:
    • Full instruction set support.
    • Interrupts: IRQs (x14, x30 or x62), NMI (x1).
    • Low Power Modes (LPMx).
    • Configurable memory size for both program and data.
    • Scalable peripheral address space.
    • DMA interface.
    • Two-wire Serial Debug Interface (I2C or UART based) with GDB support (Nexus class 3, w/o trace).
    • FPGA friendly (option for single clock domain, no clock gate).
    • ASIC friendly (options for full power & clock management support).
    • Small size (Xilinx: 1650 LUTs / Altera: 1550 LEs / ASIC: 8k gates).

  • Peripherals:
    • 16x16 Hardware Multiplier.
    • Basic Clock Module.
    • Watchdog.
    • Timer A (FPGA only).
    • GPIOs (FPGA only).
    • Templates for 8 and 16 bit peripherals.
    • Graphic Controller (openGFX430)


  • Core:
    • Instructions can't be executed from the data memory.


Follow on Google+:
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Discussion group: Development has been performed using the following freely available (excellent) tools: A few MSP430 links:

Legal information

MSP430 is a trademark of Texas Instruments, Inc. This project is not affiliated in any way with Texas Instruments. All other product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

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