fabooh c++ template library for msp430
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NOTE: this code has moved to https://github.com/RickKimball/fabooh

FABOOH - \ˈfab-ü\

Fabooh is an optimized C++ template based peripheral framework for the msp430 microcontroller. It creates very small and efficient code while still providing a flexible framework similar to what you might expect to find with something like the Arduino API. It makes liberal use of inline msp430-gcc assembler code to produce optimized code that is sometimes smaller than generic 'C' code.


A typical blink program looks something like this:

#include <fabooh.h>
#include <main.h>

inline void setup() {

void loop() {
  // block loop if user holds down the button
  if ( !PUSH2::read() ) {
    do {
      delay_msecs(10); // debounce switch
    } while(!PUSH2::read());

This results in very efficient code that uses only 120 bytes of flash, and no DATA or BSS space.


fabooh needs msp430-gcc version 4.6.3 or above. You can get a prebuilt mps430-gcc binary for windows, OSX, or linux by downloading the Energia IDE ( http://energia.nu/download ) Energia is not required to use fabooh. However, some people do find its build environment easy to use.


Fabooh assumes a unix or unix-like shell environment (cygwin). Makefiles drive the build process. It assumes that the msp430-gcc toolchain and mspdebug are in your path. If you have a copy of naken430utils, it will use that to compute cycle counts of your resulting asm code. Some of the samples use re2c and lemon, which are language development tools.

The directory tree mirrors what is required to run inside the Energia build system. (note: Energia is not needed to use fabooh). However, it is provided so 'fabooh' can be used as a target platform right along side the standard Energia framework. This might be useful for people who don't want to run command line builds using makefiles.

  • examples/ - where you find sample code for fabooh, grouped in categories
  • msp430/cores/fabooh/ - contains the fabooh framework header files
  • msp430/cores/fabooh/drivers/ - contains peripheral drivers, things like serial, spi, led, lcd
  • msp430/variants/ - this is where each supported chip and board's pin mapping are found

To build all examples:

 $ make clean all 

To build and install an individual example using the default (msp430g2553) chip:

 $ cd examples/basic 
 $ make clean all install

Some important files.

  • common.mk - contains make rules used by all samples. To switch boards, edit this file and change the line where the board and chip files are included
  • mkfiles/include-msp430fr5739.mk - configuration for the Fraunchpad FRAM board
  • mkfiles/include-msp430g2231in14.mk - configuration for launchpad with an msp430g2231 chip, setup for 16MHz instead of the default 1MHz, note: DCO values must be tweaked in cpu430.h for your individual chip, or change the F_CPU=1000000 to run with its only precalibrated value
  • mkfiles/include-msp430g2553in29.mk - (default) launchpad configuration using the msp430g2553 chip running at 16MHz


  • Much inspiration has come from the Energia and Arduino API
  • Big chunks of Kevin Timmerman's (oPossum) msp430 CCS code has been lifted and ported to msp430-gcc
  • Robert Wessels' msp430 code provided insight into how to best use the msp430 peripherals
  • This post http://mbed.org/users/igorsk/notebook/fast-gpio-with-c-templates/ got me thinking about using C++ to provide a reasonable API without sacrificing speed and small code size.


FABricate (construct, manufacture; specifically : to construct from diverse and usually standardized parts) + OOH (to exclaim in amazement)

I started with the msp430 when msp430-gcc didn't know about the value line chips. Most of the examples supplied by Texas Instruments looked like they were written by someone who took some assembler code and just formatted it for 'C'. The code differences required for TI's CCS and msp430-gcc made writing code that would run in both environments painful enough that most people didn't bother with msp430-gcc. The majority of msp430 developers were using CCS for their projects and code samples. I used CCS for a while but still I wanted something better, something free with no code size limits.

I also really wanted a simple to use API. I wanted to be able to share my code and to use other peoples code. I liked the idea of the Arduino API but the implemention isn't really focused on small or efficient code. About a year ago, I started to contribute my time to the Energia project. It is a port of Arduino that runs on the msp430 chips. I like it and we do try to be as efficient as we can be within the confines of the Arduino framework. The best thing we accomplished with Energia was growing the msp430-gcc userbase adding at least 20,000 new users.

This code is my attempt to retain the goodness of the Energia framework while trying to be as fast and efficient as I can be without worrying about breaking the Arduino API. The code makes frequent use of msp430-gcc's ability to inline msp430 asm. If you look at the fabooh implementation of a software only UART (drivers/swserial430.h), you will see some very tight asm code that can use any combination of ports and pins. I don't know how you would do that in straight 'C' and msp430 asm without some really convoluted macros.

Fabooh favors compile time decisions over runtime ones. The gpio class templates assume you know at compile time which pins and ports you want to use and the code doesn't end up using any flash or ram space at runtime trying to figure that out. Contrast that with the table look up scheme that is done at runtime with Arduino based frameworks. The Arduino scheme uses up time, flash and ram space that isn't in excess on the small msp430 value line chips. I think you will like the results achieved with the minor changes you will have to make to your coding style to take advantage of fabooh.

At this point in the msp430 lifecycle many things have changed for the better. The msp430-gcc I'm using is based on 4.6.3 gnu. It is fully featured and can be used with all the msp430 chips, value line chips included. Energia is being widely used so getting a working msp430-gcc is not really a problem.

With all that being said, it seemed that now is the time to see if I can take advantage of all that compiler infrastructure and make better use of it. The result is fabooh.


I'm often on irc.freenode.net in #43oh or #energia channel http://webchat.freenode.net/

Constructive comments welcome.


This code is very much in a alpha state. None of the APIs are stable. I'm adding and changing things around every day. However, I'll try never to leave the branch in an unstable state. You should always be able to build and test whatever is checked in.