Tools for Motor Control Improve Efficiency and Performance and Reduce Development Time

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Tools for Motor Control Improve Efficiency and Performance and Reduce Development Time

Two new low-cost development systems enable the rapid development for motor control systems—one for the control of high-voltage motors and another for stepper motors. Created by Microchip Technology along with related applications notes and free source-code software, these development tools enable rapid designs using dsPIC digital signal controllers (DSCs).

The dsPICDEM MCHV Development System is a development tool for the rapid evaluation and design of a wide variety of high-voltage, closed-loop motor control applications using AC Induction Motors (ACIMs), Brushless DC (BLDC) motors or Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motors (PMSMs). The board includes in-circuit debugging circuitry, eliminating the need for a separate debugger for development with Microchip’s dsPIC33 Motor Control DSC families. Additionally, this tool combines a proven motor-control system and Power Factor Correction (PFC) for regulatory requirements.

The dsPICDEM MCSM Development Board is a cost-effective tool for creating unipolar and bipolar stepper motor applications. This board enables the rapid development of both open-loop and current-closed-loop microstepping routines using Microchip’s dsPIC33 Motor Control families. This development tool also provides engineers with a control GUI, which allows them to focus on integrating the other application features and fine-tuning the motor’s operation.

Five royalty- and license-free software application notes with source code are being released for development, five with the dsPICDEM MCHV and one with the dsPICDEM MCSM. Designers can utilize Microchip’s proven, optimized and efficient code to produce reliable results, while reducing software creation and debug time.

Microchip’s free Field Oriented Control (FOC) software libraries enable the development of green motor-based systems. By using these libraries, the engineer can run motors at their peak efficiency and generate the maximum torque using the minimum amount of energy.

Microchip’s stepper motor control library enables the development of high-speed stepper motor control applications with variable micro-stepping down to 1/64 of a step. By using closed-loop current control, stepper motors can be run several times faster than their rated speeds with high torque and very-low-noise operation.

Included with Microchip’s free MPLAB IDE integrated development environment is an application called the Data Monitoring and Control Interface (DMCI). Using this GUI with a USB cable for communications to the target board via the included Real Time Data Monitoring (RTDM) protocol promotes rapid parameter tuning for different motors. Unlike Microchip, other competitor systems require that the motor be stopped, the source code modified, recompiled, downloaded and the DSC or MCU reprogrammed to see the effect of a control parameter change. The dsPICDEM MCHV Development System is $650. The dsPICDEM MCSM Development Board is $129.99.

Microchip Technology
Chandler, AZ.
(480) 792-7200.