ABSTRACT
Contents
1 Introduction .....................................................................................................................................2
2 Definitions........................................................................................................................................3
2.1 MSP430 Specification Values ...................................................................................................3
2.2 External System Definitions ......................................................................................................3
3 Input Interfaces ...............................................................................................................................4
3.1 ResistorDivider Input Interfaces ...............................................................................................4
3.2 Transistor Input Interface ..........................................................................................................6
3.3 OpAmp Input Interface .............................................................................................................7
3.4 ULN2003A Input Interface.........................................................................................................8
3.5 IntegratedCircuit Input Interface...............................................................................................9
3.6 Analog Input Interface ...............................................................................................................9
4 Output Interfaces ..........................................................................................................................10
4.1 Transistor Output Interface......................................................................................................10
4.2 Interface to CMOSTTL Inputs ................................................................................................11
4.3 Interface to ULN2003 Inputs ...................................................................................................11
4.4 OpAmp Output Interface ........................................................................................................12
4.5 IntegratedCircuit Output Interface ..........................................................................................13
5 Bidirectional Interfaces ................................................................................................................13
5.1 Simple, Bidirectional OpAmp Interface ..................................................................................13
5.2 IntegratedCircuit I/O Interface ................................................................................................15
6 Power Supplies .............................................................................................................................16
7 Summary........................................................................................................................................18
References ...........................................................................................................................................18
Figures
Figure 1 Interfaces Between the 3V MSP430 and 5V Systems ...................................................2
Figure 2 Resistor Input Interface From 5 V to the MSP430 ...........................................................4
Figure 3 Transistor Input Interface From a 5V Environment........................................................6
Figure 4 Input Interfaces With Op Amps .........................................................................................8
Figure 5 Analog ADC12 Input Interface From 5 V to 3 V................................................................9
Figure 6 Transistor Output Interface to a 5V Environment ........................................................10
Figure 7 Interfaces With HighCurrent Output Buffers ULN2003................................................12
Figure 8 Output Interfaces With Op Amps ....................................................................................13
Figure 9 Bidirectional Interface Between 3V and 5V Systems..................................................14
Figure 10 IntegratedCircuit I/O Interface........................................................................................16
1 Introduction
The modern MSP430s, such as the members of the MSP430x1xx family and the MSP430x4xx
family, are available for the supply voltage range from 1.8 V to 3.6 V only. This is due to the
manufacturing process used, and has the advantage of drawing even less current than with the
5V supply used by the MSP430C3xx family.
If an interface to a 5V systemor a system with an even higher voltageis necessary, it can
result in difficulties. This application report shows and explains 5V interfaces for the MSP430
inputs, outputs and I/Os. Figure 1 shows examples of input, output, and I/O interfaces. The gray
shaded boxes are the topic of this application report.
Note: In the following, the term MSP430 stands for the members of the MSP430x1xx and the
MSP430x4xx families.
Note: The given formulas for the external supply voltage V(sys) also can be used for higher
voltages than 5 V. They are useful for any external voltage, e.g., V(sys) = 12 V.
3V
DVCC
AVCC COM Tare
SEL
5V 5V 3V
3V 5V 5V
0V 0V
0V 0V
MSP430x4xx
5V
3V 5V 5V
TTLCMOS
Output Output Interface
Peripheral Output 5V Peripheral
DVSS 3 V to 5 V
AVSS
0V
0V 0V
0V
With the worstcase equations, the following simplifications are used for the calculation with
small values of ax (like for the tolerance p):
1 1 1 + ax 1 ax
(1 a x ) (1 + a x ) (1 + 2a x ) (1 2a x )
1 + ax 1 ax 1 ax 1 + ax
2 Definitions
3 Input Interfaces
The input interfaces shown are primarily intended for the interfacing between 5V and 3V
systems. However, they also can be used for external voltages higher than 5 V, e.g., the
interfacing of a 12V signal to the MSP430 input.
The first two equations ensure that the input voltage VI(430) at the MSP430 input is above (when
VI(sys) is high) or below (when VI(sys) is low) the worst case input threshold voltages. The third
equation ensures that the leakage current Ilkg of the input does not influence the voltage VI(430).
To avoid current into the input protection diodes of the MSP430 it is necessary that:
R2 max R2 min
V( sysH) max < DVCC(min) + 0.3 and V( sysL ) min > 0 .3
R1 min + R2 max R1 max + R2 min
VI(sys) 3V
DVCC
AVCC
R1
MSP430x4xx
Input
VI(430)
R2 DVSS
AVSS
0V
EXAMPLE: the two input voltages from the system are V(sysH) = 5.0 V 10% and
V(sysL) = 0.5 V 0.5 V. The resistor tolerance is p = 5%. The minimum supply voltage of the
With the above specifications for the threshold voltages VIT(max) and VIT(min) this leads to the
condition for the input voltage V(sysH)min:
DVCC 3V
R1  R2 << = R1  R2 << 60 M
Ilkg 50 nA
The three design equations above allow a wide range for R1 and R2. If R1/R2 is chosen to be
1.0 and R1R2 to be 600 k, then R1 = 1.2 M and R2 = 1.2 M.
To avoid current into the input protection diodes of the MSP430 it is necessary:
R2 max R2 min
V( sysH) max < DVCC(min) + 0.3 and V( sysL ) min > 0.3
R1 min + R2 max R1max + R2 min
1.26 M
5.5 V < 2 .7 V + 0 .3 2.8875 V < 3.0 V the condition is true.
1.14 M + 1.26 M
1.14 M
0.0 V > 0 .3 V + 0.0 V > 0.3 V the condition is also true.
1.26 M + 1.14 M
The last two equations are not important if the current into the MSP430 input is far below 2 mA
(the absolute maximum rating value for an input current). This is the case for the example given:
R1R2 = 600 k.
The above mentioned design equations are valid for the following MSP430 terminals, if switched
to the input direction:
Crystal inputs XIN and XT2IN: VIL(X)max = 0.2 DVCC, VIH(X)min = 0.8 DVCC
ADC12 inputs: the sample time t(sample) must be adapted to the impedance R1R2 of the
resistor divider. For more information, see the ADC12 chapter of [2] or [3].
3V
Output DVCC
AVCC
RC
MSP430x4xx
DVSS
RB2 AVSS
0V
The design equations for the resistors RC, RB1 and RB2 are:
DVCC(min) VIT(max)
RC <
(1 + p) (Ilkg + Ilkg( Tr ) )
ensures high potential at the MSP430 with leakage currents
R B1 V( sysL ) max
> 1 (1 + 2p ) ensures turnoff of the transistor for input voltage V(sysL)max
R B2 VBE( off )
The third equation ensures the turnon of the transistor for the input voltage V(sysH)min:
V( sysH) min VBE( on ) 1 + B1 (1 + 2p )
R
R B2
R B1 < min R C min
DVCC(max)
Example: Input voltage VI(sys) is connected to an MSP430 input with Ilkg = 50 nA. The minimum
highinput level V(sysH)min = 4.5 V, the maximum lowinput level V(sysL)max = 0.7 V. The resistor
tolerance of all resistors is p = 5%. The supply voltage is DVCC = 3 V 10%. The transistor
properties are VBE(on) = 0.75 V, VBE(off) = 0.2 V, min = 100, Ilkg(Tr) = 10 nA.
The minimum ratio for the nominal values of RB1 and RB2 is:
R B1 V( sysL ) max 0 .7 V
> 1 (1 + 2p ) = 1 (1 + 0.1) = 2.75
R B2 VBE( off ) 0 .2 V
V( sysH) min VBE( on ) 1 + B1 (1 + 2p )
R
R B2
RB1 < min R C min
DVCC(max)
The worst case equations for the two resistors R1 and R2 shown in Figure 4 is:
R B2 max R B 2 min
where Vref (max) = DVCC(max) and Vref (min) = DVCC(min)
R B1 min+ R B2 max R B1 max + R B2 min
VCC VIT(max) 3 V 1. 9 V
Rp < = Rp < 20.9 k chosen Rp = 20 k
(1 + p) ICE max
max
1.05 50 A
To avoid current consumption, the resistors Rp are switched to DVCC only when necessary.
5V 3V
HallSensor
Transfer Characteristic
VCC DVCC
AVCC
Output
Current HallSensor
Current I/F MSP430x4xx 4.0 V
R1
AC In Output Ax 3.0 V
AC Out 2.0 V
R2 V DVSS
(adc)
GND AVSS 1.0 V
0V 15 A 0A 15 A
0V Current
If the external peripheral cannot deliver the current for the resistor divider, a unitygain op amp
can be placed between the peripheral output and resistor R1.
The ADC12 sample time t(sample) must be adapted to the impedance R1R2 of the resistor
divider. For more information, see the ADC12 chapter of [2] or [3].
4 Output Interfaces
No interface is needed for LCDs and for passive sensors. They are directly connected to the
MSP430 in the usual way. See [2].
(
R L min min VOH(min) VBE( on ) )
RB <
(1 + p) V( sys) max
Where RLmin Minimum load resistor []
Vsys
DVcc
AVcc IL
RL
MSP430x4xx
To external System
Port
RB
DVss Vout VCEsat to Vsys
AVss
0V
is p = 10%. The minimum supply voltage in this example is DVCC(min) = 2.7 V (3.0 V 10%). The
transistor properties are VBE(on) = 0.7 V and min = 100.
100 (1 0.03 ) 100 (2.7 V 0.25 V 0.7 V )
RB < R B < 2805.8 chosen RB = 2.7 k
(1 + 0.1) 5V (1 + 0.1)
B
Common
FreeWheeling
Diodes
3V 12 V
4/7 ULN2003A 5 V
DVCC CFWD
AVCC
3 Rp
3/7 ULN2003A
ACLK Buffered ACLK
Inputs 20 kHz
Motor 1 (Fan)
0V5V Input TB1 M 12 V
Relays Signal
Load TRIAC
0V5V Input Port 5V
20 kHz
RV Motor 2 (Pump)
VI(sys)
Input TB2 M 12 V
0 V  12 V
DVSS
GND AVSS GND
0V
The input interface on the left side of Figure 7 is described in ULN2003A Input Interface, Section
3.4.
V(sys)
3V 3V
TLC27L4
DVCC RB1 VDD Outputs
AVCC
+
1.5 V 0V(sys)

Output +
0V(sys)

Output +
0V(sys)

Output +
0V(sys)

DVSS
AVSS GND
RB2
5 Bidirectional Interfaces
0V 0V
The worstcase design equations for the resistors R3, R4 and R5 are:
V( sysH) min
< (1 2p )
R4
1 ensures a high level at the MSP430 input
R5
Vref (max)
V( sysH) max
> (1 + 2p )
R4
1 prevents voltages higher than DVCC at the MSP430 input
R5
DVCC(min)
The next equation ensures high level at the MSP430 input with the MSP430 and op amp
leakage currents Ilkg and Ilkg(Op):
(1 + 2p )
R4
V( sysH) min Vref (max) 1 +
R5
R4 <
(
Ilkg + Ilkg( Op ) (1 + p ) )
The last equation ensures a high level at the external system input with its leakage current
Ilkg(sys):
Where Vref Reference voltage for the input level decision [V]
Ilkg Input leakage current of an MSP430 input [A]
Ilkg(Op) Input leakage current of the opamp input [A]
Ilkg(sys) Input leakage current of the system input [A]
Example: bidirectional interface for the following data: V(sys) = 5 V 10%, V(sysH)min = 4 V,
V(sys+)max = 3.5 V, Ilkg(sys) = 1 A, Ilkg(Op) = 700 pA, Ilkg = 50 nA, Vref = 1.5 V 5%. The resistor
tolerance is p = 5%. The minimum supply voltage of this example is DVCC(min) = 2.7 V (3.0 V
10%).
V(sysH)min 4V
< (1 2p ) 1 = (1 2 0.05 )
R4
1 = 1.386
R5 1.575 V
Vref (max)
V(sysH)max 5 .5 V
> (1 + 2p ) 1 = (1 + 2 0.05 )
R4
1 = 1.14
R5 2 .7 V
DVCC(min)
R4 1.38 + 1.14
The medium value of the two R4/R5 limits is taken: = = 1.26
R5 2
(1 + 2p )
R4
V( sysH) min Vref (max) 1 +
R 5 4.0 V 1.575 V (1 + 1.26 (1 + 2 0.05 ))
R4 < = = 4.55 M
( )
Ilkg + Ilkg( Op ) (1 + p ) (50 nA + 700 pA ) (1 + 0.05 )
R4 2 M
R4 is chosen to be 2 M. Resistor R5 is calculated as: R5 = = = 1.59 M
1.26 1.26
3.3 V 3.3 V 5V
MSP430x4xx SN74LVCC4245A
B1 A1
I/O Port Bus B to to Bus A 8 I/Os to 5V Peripherals
B8 A8
Output DIR
DVSS
AVSS GND
0V
6 Power Supplies
Note: the design equations for the power supplies below are given in the Power Supplies for
MSP430 Systems chapter of [1]. This chapter also describes other kinds of power supplies, e.g.,
transformer driven supplies, with their design equations.
Figure 11 shows a capacitor power supply for two output voltages, VCC1 = 3 V and VCC2 = 5 V. If
the output current of the TLC27L4s is not sufficient, an NPN output buffer can be used as shown
in Figure 12.
Mains
3R
Cm
VC
PD
Rm V 5V
CC2
To 5V Peripherals
D VC
1.4 R
To 3V Peripherals
V 3V
CC1
DZ Cch 1.25 V AV
CC
DV
0V CC
LMx85
R R 1 M
MSP430x4xx
DV
SS
1/2 TLC27L4 0V
AVSS
To Peripherals
Using the powerdown output, PD, the MSP430 can switch off the 5V supply during low power
periods (LPM3):
LPM3: the MSP430 output PD is switched to DVCC. The 5V regulator outputs a voltage
near 0 V.
Figure 12 shows a power supply for two output voltages VCC1 = 3 V and VCC2 = 5 V. The 3V
supply is buffered with an NPN transistor to allow a higher current.
To 5V Peripherals
8 V to 12 V 7805 5V
2R To 3V Peripherals
+
Cch  AV
CC
DVCC
3V
3R
MSP430x4xx
0V DVSS
1/4 TLC27L4 0V
AV
SS
To Peripherals
7 Summary
As this application report showed, it is possible to build costeffective interfaces for the connection of
the 3V MSP430 families to a 5V environment. In some cases, the external 5V peripherals already
contain the necessary interface. Thanks to Eilhard Haseloff for his very helpful hints.
References
1. MSP430 Family MixedSignal Microcontroller Application Reports, Literature Number
SLAA024
2. MSP430x4xx Family Users Guide, Literature Number SLAU056
3. MSP430x1xx Family Users Guide, Literature Number SLAU049
4. MSP430x43x, MSP430x44x Mixed Signal Microcontroller data sheet, Literature Number
SLAS344
5. TLC27L4, TLC27L4A, TLC27L4B,TLC27L4Y, TLC27L9 LinCMOS Precision Quad
Operational Amplifiers data sheet, Literature Number SLOS053
6. ULN2001A, ULN2002A, ULN2003A, ULN2004A,ULQ2003A, ULQ2004A HighVoltage High
Current Darlington Transistor Array data sheet, Literature Number SLRS027
7. SN74LVCC4245A Octal DualSupply Bus Transceiver With Configurable Output Voltage and
3State Outputs data sheet, Literature Number SCAS584
8. Selecting the Right LevelTranslation Solutions application report, Literature Number
SCEA035