Development Tools Starting Guide


Capacitive touch evaluation and rapid prototyping has never been faster and easier. Using the CapTIvate™ modular and dedicated capacitive touch demo boards with the CapTIvate Design Center, you can evaluate the performance of the MSP430 CapTIvate™ family of capacitive touch MCUs, or develop your own PCB and experience the power of the CapTIvate Design Center and the ease of real-time sensor tuning, all without writing a single line of code. Free software development tools are also available, including TI’s Eclipse-based Code Composer Studio™ (CCS) and IAR Embedded Workbench® IAR-KICKSTART. Both of these integrated development environments (IDEs) support EnergyTrace™ technology when paired with any of the CapTIvate demonstration boards.


CapTIvate demonstration panels are available with self and mutual capacitive buttons, sliders and wheels, haptics and metal touch and can be ordered separately. MCU modules are available that can be connected to any of these panels for demonstration and evaluation. To support evaluating either your own solution using one of the demonstration panels and MCU modules, or developing your own custom hardware, a programmer PCB is available and recommended when ordering any of the demonstration boards, except where noted. Below you will find links to the individual board chapters, providing details on the board’s features, functionality, example code and design files. A compatibility table with links to the individual board’s product page is provided to guide you through the board selection process.

Demo PCB Details

To get detailed information on the individual boards, click on the links below:




CAPTIVATE-FR2633 Chapter

MSP430FR2633 Target MCU module

16K FRAM, 4K RAM, 16 CapTIvate IO

CAPTIVATE-FR2676 Chapter

MSP430FR2676 Target MCU module

64K FRAM, 8K RAM, 16 CapTIvate IO


Self capacitance HMI demo panel

8-buttons, slider, wheel and proximity (Out-of-Box Experience)


Mutual capacitance HMI demo panel

17 buttons, 2-sliders, wheel, guard channel and haptics


Metal Touch HMI demo panel

8-button, force detection and 7-segment LED display


MSP430FR2522 + Mutual Capacitive HMI Demo

12-button keypad and backlight LEDs, BoosterPack compatible

EVM430-CAPMINI Chapter

MSP430FR2512 + Self capacitance Demo

4-buttons, multi-tone buzzer, battery powered


eZ-FET™ Programmer/debugger

EnergyTrace and USB HID communications bridge


Electromagnetic compatibility performance evaluation

MSP430FR2676 MCU, 16-button keypad (8-self and 8-mutual), LED status indicators


Program and Communication Isolator

UART, I2C and Spy-By-Wire programming isolation

Note: Through out this documentation MSP430FR26xx refers to MSP430FR2633 and MSP430FR2676

New to Capacitive Touch?

TI recommends starting with the CAPTIVATE-FR2633 or CAPTIVATE-FR2676 MCU module and CAPTIVATE-BSWP self capacitive demonstration board. These CAPTIVATE-FR26xx MCU modules comes pre-programmed with an “Out-of-Box” experience that demonstrates several self-capacitive controls and “Wake-on-Proximity low power operation. This board combination is used in conjunction with Workshop(Getting Started) chapter of this tech guide, which is a great place to learn how to create your first project and get your touch application up and running in less than 5 minutes. Don’t forget, all CapTIvate demonstration boards require the CAPTIVATE-PGMR PCB to program the target MCU and provide communication between target and CapTIvate Design Center GUI.

Choosing a Demonstration Board


These are the collection of MCU modules and demonstration panels that create a flexible platform for evaluating self or mutual capacitive controls.

  • CAPTIVATE-FR2633 MCU module

  • CAPTIVATE-FR2676 MCU module




Use the table below to guide you through selecting a sensor board, MCU module and programmer. To order or view additional information about a board, click on its link in the table to view the product page.

  • Step 1 - Select the type of sensor board to evaluate.

  • Step 2 - Select an MCU module.

  • Step 3 - Select the CAPTIVATE-PGMR (See FAQs).

  • Step 4 (optional) - CAPTIVATE-ISO (See FAQs).

Step #1 - Choose Sensor Module

Step #2 - Choose MCU Module

Step #3 - Add Programmer Module

Step #4 - Optional









These are the collection of dedicated demonstration boards with an MSP430FR26xx MCU on the board.



Use the table below as a guide to select a dedicated demo board.

Step #1 - Choose Dedicated Board

Step #2 - Add Programmer Module

Step #3 - Optional








Frequently Asked Questions

*Do I need the CAPTIVATE-PGMR?* - Yes, the CAPTIVATE-PGMR is required for most all of the demonstration platforms, except where noted.

*What is the CAPTIVATE-ISO used for and do I need one?* - The CAPTIVATE-ISO is not required for demonstration purposes. The CAPTIVATE-ISO is available if you need to isolate the programming and communication signals between the target MCU and a connected PC. This is typically required during battery powered application development or performing conducted noise testing on your PCB design. Refer to the CAPTIVATE-ISO Chapter chapter for further details.

*My design is line powered and I need to evaluate CapTIvate’s EMC performance.* - The CAPTIVATE-EMC is a stand-alone evaluation board that enable users to easily evaluate CapTIvate’s electromagnetic compatibility performance.

Getting Started

This section details how to get started using the CapTIvate demonstration boards.


To get started with a demonstration board, complete the following software and hardware steps:

Software Installation

  1. Install the CapTIvate™ Design Center GUI on your PC, Linux, or MAC computer (note the requirements).

  2. Install a development environment (IDE). TI’s Code Composer Studio v6.1.0 and IAR Embedded Workbench v6.30 or greater are supported.

Hardware Setup

Setting up the demonstration hardware is the same for most demonstration boards. A typical setup is shown here using CAPTIVATE-FR2633, CAPTIVATE-BSWP and CAPTIVATE-PGMR. Refer to a specific demonstration board’s chapter for additional specific details. Refer to the FAQ section for further troubleshooting tips.

Sensor Panel Demonstrations

Refer to the demonstration board’s chapter for additional details regarding preparation and running the supported demonstrations.

Software Examples

Complete CCS and IAR example projects for each demo panel are provided with the CapTIvate Design Center installation. Example projects are also available with the installation of MSPWare.

Example Project Locations

During the CapTIvate Design Center installation process, example CapTIvate Design Center projects and target MCU firmware projects are copied and placed in each of the MCU directories located in a user’s home directory under *”CaptivateDesignCenter_[version]/CaptivateDesignCenterWorkspace/TI Examples”*. CapTIvate Design Center projects are named “.ser” and corresponding MCU firmware projects are located in the demo_src sub folder. On Windows 7,10, this would be *C:/Users/”username”/CaptivateDesignCenter[version]/CaptivateDesignCenterWorkspace/TI Examples/[demo name]*. Note: It is possible to have more than one version of CapTIvate Design Center installed so [version] will vary depending on the installation.

Running an Example Project

Be sure that you have completed the pre work. To run an example project, it is necessary to do the following:

  1. If it is not already connected, connect the desired sensing panel (CAPTIVATE-BSWP, CAPTIVATE-PHONE or CAPTIVATE-METAL) to the (CAPTIVATE-FR2633 or CAPTIVATE-FR2676) MCU module. The BOOSTXL-CAPKEYPAD and CAPMINI do not support any external sensing panels.

  2. Import, build, and program the example software for the specific board that you are using onto the target MCU module. Follow these steps to load and run generated firmware projects. Example project locations are described here. Note that the CAPTIVATE-FR2633 and CAPTIVATE-FR2676 modules ship pre-programmed for the CAPTIVATE-BSWP sensing panel.

  3. Start the CapTIvate Design Center using the icon that was installed on your desktop.

  4. Click File -> Project Open from the menu bar and select the desired project directory. Click here for help with CapTIvate™ Design Center. The project’s main window is the design canvas and is pre-populated with the microcontroller and selected sensors matching the hardware for this demo.

  5. Enable Communications in the CapTIvate™ Design Center to begin the demonstration.

  6. View the data for different sensors when you approach and touch the panel. Note: If the MCU is in wake-on-proximity mode, there may appear to be no activity. Bring your hand near or touch the board to activate the MCU.

Recovering Default Demonstration Projects

The default example CapTIvate Design Center projects and target MCU firmware projects are located in the CapTIvate Design Center installation directory, typically C:/ti/msp/CapTIvateDesignCenter_[version]/CapTIvateDesignCenter/example_projects. If there is a case where an example project needs to be restored, copy from this directory.

Sensor Connectors

48-pin Male Sensor PCB Connector Information

The CAPTIVATE-BSWP, CAPTIVATE-PHONE and CAPTIVATE-METAL demonstration panels use this 48 pin male connector that is commonly available from various manufacturers and suppliers. The following mechanical information will be useful if designing your own PCB to connect to the CAPT-FR26xx MCU module PCB. Below is a list of manufacturer part numbers:

48-P Sensor Connector - Male

Fig. 269 48-P Sensor Connector - Male


Part No

Digikey No





09 23 148 6921



09 23 148 2921