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FROM Texas Instruments Web Site: June 22, 2010
$4.30 LaunchPad is a complete development kit for harnessing the ultra-low power and 16-bit performance of MSP430 Value Line MCUs
The new MSP430 MCU Value Line LaunchPad development kit is the industry's lowest cost microcontroller kit enabling prototyping, debugging and programming for new and experienced developers of sensing, consumer electronics and other cost sensitive applications.

For $4.30, the open source kit includes all of the hardware and software needed to easily launch designs based on TI's MSP430 Value Line MCUs, which start at 25 cents and offer up to 10X performance and 10X battery life over 8-bit MCUs. LaunchPad supports rapid prototyping and development by allowing developers to quickly drop-in MSP430 Value Line MCUs to evaluate, program or debug devices.
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FROM Microchip's Web Site:
The XLP 16-bit Energy Harvesting Development Kit is a true development platform for realizing energy harvesting applications.
The Microchip nanoWatt XLP PIC MCUs are ideal for these low power applications with sleep currents down to 20nA, active mode currents down to 50uA/MHz, code execution efficiency, and multiple wake-up sources. Powered only by light, the XLP kit enables rapid prototyping of low power applications such as RF sensors, temperature/environmental sensors, utility meters, remote controls, and security sensors to name just a few. For software development and programming, the kit includes the PICkit 3 programmer/debugger for use with the Microchip’s free MPLAB™ Integrated Development Environment.

The development board portion of the kit features the PIC24F16KA102 XLP MCU, on-board temperature sensors, data EEPROM, potentiometer, watch crystal, LEDs, and expansion connector for PICtail™ modules. Supported PICtails include: RF, SD/MMC Cards, Speech Playback, and more.

The power for the kit is supplied by Cymbet’s EVAL-08 Solar Energy Harvester. The harvester features a high-efficiency solar panel suitable for use with indoor or outdoor light. The harvester captures, manages, and stores energy in two Cymbet EnerChip™ thin-film rechargeable energy storage devices. The EnerChips supply energy to the XLP development board when light is not available.
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My apologies for the delay, I am having some technical problems. The first of these papers should be posted in a few weeks...

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