Texas Instruments announced its new MSP430 MCU Value Line LaunchPad development kit. For $4.30, the open source kit includes the hardware and software needed to launch designs based on the company’s MSP430 Value Line MCUs, which are presented as offering up to 10X performance and 10X battery life over 8-bit MCUs. The kit supports rapid prototyping and development by allowing developers to drop-in MSP430 Value Line MCUs to evaluate, program or debug devices. This allows developers to remove programmed devices to be placed on a custom board, or remain plugged into LaunchPad to leverage on-board buttons, LEDs and breakout pins for external components. Features include a DIP target socket, which supports up to 20-pin devices; programmed MCUs can be easily removed and placed into custom PCBs and breadboards; developers can leverage pushbuttons, LEDs and breakout pins for external components, allowing LaunchPad to function as a standalone system; and an integrated, USB-powered emulator permits flash programming, firmware debugging and serial communication and eliminates need for external emulator.