The LaunchPad is a range of affordable baords from Texas Instruments.
The latest release, the LaunchPad Hercules, is based on the TMS570LS0432 MCU or the RM42L432, designed for safety-critical applications.
There's a strong commitment to details:
The board has a built-in debugger and a 14-pin JTAG connector.
The IDE or integrated development environment is called CCS for Code Composer Studio. Installing CCS on Windows 8 can take a while. CCS is also available for Linux, but not for Mac OS X.
The board is not supported by Energia, the Processing-based Wiring-derived Arduino-like IDE, and thus not supported by embedXcode, as the later requires the former.
Texas Instruments supply a configurator, called HalCoGen, with RTOS extension. This configurator allows to select the interfaces planned for the project, and prepares all the files accordingly. Those files are imported and used by CCS later on.
I went through the basic blinky example in 3 hours and through the RTOS example proposed by Eric B. in 2 hours.