Tiny all-in-one LIN driver propels relay window lifters

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By Christoph Hammerschmidt

The MLX81160 from Melexis is the latest addition to the company’s Gen3 family of compatible embedded motor drivers. The IC for relay DC motors offers a combination of high power and compactness. Its 48 KB of memory (16 KB ROM for the included LIN protocol and 32 KB Flash for the application software) is suitable for applications like window regulators. By leveraging high-voltage silicon-on-isolator (SOI) technology, this LIN-based pre-driver exhibits operational robustness for 12 and 24 V applications.

This device succeeds the company’s widely implemented MLX81150 LIN slave device for relay and DC motor control. The key uses are window lifters and sunroof regulators with relay DC motors, as well as small DC motor applications with external PN-MOSFET power regulation.

AEC-Q100 qualified, the MLX81160 incorporates all the essential functional elements for motor driving within a single chip. These include a LIN interface, an embedded microcontroller unit, 6x PWM drivers, 3x high-voltage I/Os, and more. Extra I/Os allow connecting a dedicated 4-wire latch for motor indexing. Melexis will soon launch a new 4-wire latch: the innovative features of the MLX92352 will provide the ultimate flexibility. Together with the MLX81160 it is a full Sense & Drive solution, the vendor advertises.

The chip is embedded into a compact 4 mm x 4 mm QFN24 package. It fits on the smallest PCB when used for state-of-the-art mechatronics. On top of enabling performance improvements and reducing costs, and having the smallest dimensions, the MLX81160 has more important advantages. These include faster programmability (with 32 KB Flash completed in <2.5sec) and ASIL B functional safety capabilities. In addition, the dual current sensing feature permits ripple counting and the driving of multiple DC motors.

“The price/performance characteristics of the MLX81160 mean that our tier 1 customers are able to develop competitive mechatronic systems for their automotive OEM partners. It brings the benefits of digital interfacing to the price-sensitive DC motors such as mid-range window lifters,” says Marc Lambrechts, Product Line Manager Embedded Motor Drivers at Melexis,


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