Micronas takes ARM 32-bit core to brushless DC motor controls

December 12, 2013 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Sensor system manufacturer Micronas has licensed the Cortex-M3 32-bit RISC processor from ARM Ltd. for its next generation of brushless DC motor control solutions in a single IC. These ARM-based motor controllers will complement Micronas' existing line of 8051-based devices and enable solutions that require more intelligence.

The Cortex-M3 processor with its deterministic 3-stage pipeline provides an ideal blend of high performance and instruction efficiency the company's experts find - in particular due to the use of the Thumb-2 instruction set, hardware divider, and single-cycle multiplier. The processor is also equipped with essential microcontroller features, such as low latency interrupt handling, integrated sleep modes, debug and trace capabilities, as well as best-in-class software development tool chain.

The integration of the ARM Cortex-M3 processor into the company's embedded controllers for smart actuators complements established 8051-processor-based solutions and enables Micronas to target new motor driving applications requiring advanced processing capabilities, explained Dirk Behrens, Vice President Automotive at Micronas.

The company's embedded controllers for use in automotive and industrial applications are single chip, high-voltage controllers with flexible peripherals and direct motor driving capabilities. The various integrated digital and analog components include comparators, diagnosis and protection functions, programmable gain amplifier, A/D converter, communication interfaces, direct 12 V operation regulators, as well as power bridges. These features make the system lighter in weight and save important space within the application which enables a compact and cost-effective motor system design. These embedded controllers further support various commutation schemes and can either be operated in a sensor-less or sensored mode in conjunction with the company's HAL 2xy and HAL 5xy switch or 2D rotational encoder families. Typical applications for smart actuator system solutions include DC motor drives, fans and pumps.

For more information visit  www.micronas.com .