Automotive-qualified motor controller combines small size and high current

April 10, 2014 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
In automobiles, an increasing number of mechanical auxiliary functions are implemented by means of an electric motor instead of a mechanical-driven device - examples are coolant pumps, radiator fan and many more. Microchip has developed an automotive-qualified motor driver IC that combines cost-effectiveness with a very small footprint.

The MCP8063 comes in a small 8-pin, 4 x 4 mm DFN package. Microchip claims that this is the world's first motor driver to combine a this size with a 1.5A peak phase current for the 180° sinusoidal drive of a variety of three-phase brushless DC motor and fan applications. The high degree of integration reduces PCB area and the high sinusoidal-drive performance provides high efficiency, low mechanical vibration and, as a consequence, low acoustic noise and silent operation. The device also includes safety features such as thermal shutdown, over-current limiting and lock-up protection. Additionally, it supports the sensorless driving of BLDC motors, which eliminates the cost and space of a Hall sensor.

The MCP8063 motor driver works stand-alone or in conjunction with Microchip's portfolio of PIC microcontrollers and dsPIC digital signal controllers. This offers a high degree of flexibility for everything from simple voltage control to closed-loop motor speed control using high-performance algorithms, such as sinusoidal sensorless drive.

Development with the MCP8063 motor driver is facilitated by the 12V 3-phase BLDC sensorless Fan Controller Demo Kit ADM00575. In addition, the company provides a range of firmware, algorithms, evaluation boards, and reference designs.