Brushless DC motor controller with ARM M0+ core

Brushless DC motor controller with ARM M0+ core

New Products |
By Nick Flaherty

onsemi has developed an integrated controller for brushless DC motors with an embedded gate driver and an ARM Cortex-M0+ microcontroller engine.

The ecoSpin BLDC motor controller family combines the control and driver functions in a 10 x 13mm  system-in-package (SiP) to simplify the development of high-voltage motor control systems in applications such as HVAC, refrigeration and robotics.

The first member of the ecoSpin motor controller family is the ECS640A, a three-phase brushless DC (BLDC) motor controller designed for reliable high-voltage operation up to 600 V. This combines a FAN73896 gate driver, M0+ core with 64kB flash memory and 8kB SRAM, NCS20034 7MHz, high slew-rate, rail-to-rail quad amplifier and three bootstrap diodes.

Six gate driver outputs provide sink/source of 350 mA/650 mA (typ) gate current to external power devices and Hall Sensor inputs support either sensored or sensorless operation. Three independent low−side source pins allow for single or multiple shunt measurement.

Protection functions in the motor controller SIP include under-voltage lockout and inverter over-current trip with an automatic fault-clear function. An open-drain fault signal is provided to indicate that a fault condition has occurred.

Direct Torque & Flux Control (DTFC) firmware is available and allows optimal motor performance on the Cortex-M0+ core.  Customers can directly license DTFC code from Theta Power Systems.

To optimize performance, the ECS640A motor controller supports traditional motor control techniques including trapezoidal and vector control. Advanced commutation algorithms are available on the Cortex M0 platform. These techniques allow for improved control over the motor’s flux and torque over a wide speed range, with as much as a three to five percent improvement in power efficiency.

“The highly integrated solution reduces time to market by eliminating the need for design cycles on applications, simplifying solution reuse when scaling BLDC motor power level requirements,” said Michel De Mey, vice president of the Industrial Solutions Division, onsemi. “Reliability is improved by replacing many of the larger, more complex devices, while at the same time shrinking the PCB routing area by approximately 20% compared to a discrete implementation, to deliver an overall compact solution.”

The integration of the motor controller into a SIP optimizes the placement of the power stage in a design and reduces noise. This allows rapid reuse in alternative platforms by simply changing the discrete power devices and updating the software. The reduction in BOM simplifies sourcing challenges stemming from having many different discrete devices.

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