Motor control chip adds power for smart industry and consumer designs

Motor control chip adds power for smart industry and consumer designs

New Products |
By Nick Flaherty

The STSPIN32F0 motor-control system-in-package combines the power and flexibility of a microcontroller-based drive with ease of use and space efficiency. Target applications include smart-manufacturing equipment, power tools and cooling fans, as well as emerging high-tech product categories such as drones, small robots, and home appliances containing high-efficiency motors, such as high-performance portable vacuum cleaners or air purifiers.  

The STSPIN32F0 combines an ARM Cortex-M0 microcontroller and an analogue power driver in a 7mm x 7mm QFN package, delivering the flexibility and power of a microcontroller-based motor drive with the convenience, simplicity, and space-efficiency of a single chip for developers with existing investment in proprietary motor-control IP or those seeking an off-the-shelf motor-control algorithm.

The analogue chip implements a three-phase, half-bridge gate driver with integrated bootstrap diodes. Gate-drive current of up to 600mA allows designers to select from a wide variety of power MOSFETs of an adequate rating for the chosen motor. The built-in protection mechanisms include real-time programmable over-current protection, cross-conduction prevention to eliminate potentially damaging shoot-through currents, and under-voltage and over-temperature protection. The integrated operational amplifiers allow maximum flexibility to design cost-effective sensorless or Hall-effect sensor feedback systems.

An internal 3.3V DC-DC buck converter and 12V LDO linear regulator provide the voltage rails to supply the microcontroller, the external circuitry and the gate drivers. The chip can be put into standby mode to disable all the internal circuitry apart from the DC-DC converter, reducing power consumption to a minimum.

The STSPIN32F0 significantly simplifies design challenges by leveraging the STM32 development ecosystem with software tools, firmware libraries and middleware available on top of the popular motion-control algorithms such as Field-Oriented Control (FOC) and 6-step control to streamline firmware development. 

“Designers of Industry 4.0 and high-end consumer electronics systems need freedom to optimize their motor-control strategy, as well as high processing performance to enable autonomous operation with minimal intervention from a central controller,” said Domenico Arrigo, General Manager, Industrial and Power Conversion Division at STMicroelectronics. “The STSPIN32F0 makes these qualities accessible in a convenient and space-efficient system-in-package, taking advantage of the power-control libraries and algorithms available from our uniquely rich STM32 ecosystem to streamline and simplify the development of intelligent and highly-featured precision motion controls.”

The STSPIN32F0 motor-control system-in-package is in production now in 7mm x 7mm QFN, priced from $1.95 for orders of 1000 pieces.

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