Low-Power Orientation Tracker and an Optimized Math Library for the MSP430

MSP430 Orientation Tracker

Orientation trackers can be used for a ton of different applications: tracking mishandled packages, theft notification of valuables, and navigation are just a few examples! A recent blog post from Texas Instruments discusses how to build a low-cost and low-power orientation tracker with the MSP430.

Based on the MSP430 LaunchPad and CircuitCo’s Educational BoosterPack, the orientation tracker is very simple to put together. It can also be made wireless using any of the wireless BoosterPacks with a Fuel Tank BoosterPack, or by using the BLE Booster Pack with a built in Lithium Battery circuitry. TI provides all the necessary code and design files in their reference application for getting your orientation tracker up and running. Be sure to see the device in action after the break! This project not only involves building a low-power orientation tracker, but also showcases IQmathLib, a library of optimized fixed point math functions on the MSP430. One of the more challenging aspects of using small MCUs such as the MSP430 or Arduino is how inefficient built in math libraries are. Check out the IQmathLib, it greatly improves upon the built in math functions for the MSP430.

It would be interesting to see this project modified to be a DIY pedometer or be used on a self-balancing robot. It would also be interesting to see the IQmathLib ported to other micros, such as the Arduino. Take a look and see how you can use this reference design in your own projects!

Comments

  1. polossatik says:

    “It would also be interesting to see the IQmathLib ported to other micros, such as the Arduino”
    Can’t open the windows exe, but there is nowhere any license mentioned, so i highly doubt this is NOT (c) TI.

    • Søren says:

      As I recall the different instances of IQmathLib are optimized for the architecture they are released and complied for (there is one for TI’s TIVA series / ARM too).

      Googling around a bit hints that something similar exists for Atmels AVR architecture.

      But when you make an optimized library for an embedded platform as this, you pretty much rely on using some assembler instructions, or at least knowing how your hardware and compiler plays together – so it’s a bit moot taking about porting this to the arduino.

    • txf says:

      Looking at the user guide, it appears that the lib is distributed in binary format and is linked in by the ccs compiler, so porting appears a no go…

  2. fartface says:

    I am glad to see people fixing the TI MSP platform. the libraries released by TI for it are all complete garbage. The chip has some serious potential, it’s just destroyed by TI’s silly idea as to what the libraries are supposed to be and their utterly horrible IDE. Code Composer Studio is overpriced and almost as bad as Visual Studio.

    So here is hoping that the MSP platform becomes useable like Atmel and Microchip

  3. J. Axel says:

    I started a project based also on the MSP430G2553 and launchpad but kinda gave up because the math was taking forever to compute. I guess I need to use this library. Started with this MSP430 tutorial that covered quite a few of the pieces, but not much of the math.

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