TI introduces motor driver family for functional safety applications

July 11, 2013 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Texas Instruments (TI) announced a sweeping expansion of its automotive motor driver family. The move is intended to help TI customers design automotive applications to meet the functional safety requirements of ISO 26262.

With three new devices added today, the DRV32xx-Q1 family now comprises four 3-phase, brushless, pre-FET motor drivers equipped with built-in diagnostic capabilities. The DRV3202-Q1 offers automotive system designers integrated power management and CAN interface to help reduce board space and design complexity in their safety-critical applications. The DRV3203-Q1 and DRV3204-Q1 help TI customers design safety-critical applications to meet ASIL-B, while the DRV3201-Q1, previously introduced in October, 2012 helps TI customers design safety-critical applications to meet ASIL-D requirements.

The three new motor drivers provide designers with reliable, space-saving options intended to help them address the challenges of space constraints and harsh conditions such as high-temperature, low-voltage start-stop and cold crank situations. Applications include power steering, hybrid electric vehicles/electric vehicles (HEV/EV), power train, oil pump, water pump and electric braking systems.

Key features and benefits of the DRV32xx-Q1 family:

· Optimized component count and board space for cost- and space-sensitive applications: The DRV3202-Q1 integrates a voltage regulator and CAN interface to reduce component count and minimize system cost and board space.

· Built-in diagnostics: The DRV32xx-Q1 family integrates hard-wired diagnostic circuits including a pre-FET driver short, over/under voltage and over temperature. The system's microcontroller can quickly communicate with the DRV32xx-Q1 family and monitor internal status through serial peripheral interface (SPI).

· Devices help TI customers design applications to meet the functional safety requirements of ISO 26262: The DRV3201-Q1 can help TI customers design critical-safety applications, such as electric power steering and electric braking systems, to meet ASIL-D requirements, and the DRV3204-Q1 and DRV3203-Q1 can help customers design safety applications, such as oil pump and water pump, to meet ASIL-B requirements.

· Design simplicity for start-stop and cold crank applications: With an integrated boost regulator, the DRV3201-Q1 eliminates the need for a large capacitor to hold battery voltage. With an integrated low drop-out linear regulator controller (LDO) and an external FET, the DRV3203-Q1 and DRV3204-Q1 also eliminate the need for a large capacitor