MSP430 Emulator User Guide

  1. Overview
  2. User Setup
  3. Uploading Firmware
  4. Emulator Controls
  5. Debugger Commands


The MSP430 Emulator is actually somewhere between an emulator and a simulator. While it does not attempt to simulate all actions for the sake of performance, it does attempt to simulate connections to external devices, cycle accuracy, and other usefull things. While this project started out as an educational tool, it has the potential to be a fantastic framework for emulating other, more difficult MSP430 models, their peripherals, and the external system they control.
Can be used

User Setup

There are two options for using this emulation tool. The first requires little setup other than you're prepared ELF iamge. The second is used when time critical applications need to be analyzed. You can connect to a local emulation server through our web interface.

Online Use

Lucky for you, no setup is required! All you need is a compiled ELF firmware file to upload into our emulation server! This process is described below, as simple as a few clicks.

If you are using the online emulator then you are probably trying to take part in the online Embedded Systems capture the flag we host, or just trying to run a piece of software you designed to run on the MSP430 in our emulator/debugger.

Local Use

For running a local instance of the MSP430 Emulator, you will have to clone the source code and build it: . Build instructions are found there. Once you have built the software (which consists of two programs you will need, the emulator itself and the emulation server) you will see two executables appear in the root of the source tree: "server", and "MSP430".

"MSP430" is the emulator itself, and "server" is the emulation server which will host instances of the emulator which you can access at the same time from your web browser. All you have to do is run the server program via "./server" on the command line, making sure that "MSP430" is in the current directory. It is best not to move the exexutables out of the source directory.

To access the emulator, open up your web browser and navigate to the same web page you would go to run the online emulator. This can be found here. On the bottom left of the control panel, there is a button labeled "Run Local"; Click this button to access your local emulation server. When you are running locally, you will see the checkbox in the bottom left corner checked. You are now running locally!

© MSP430-Emulator Rudolf Geosits 2022