September 8, 2021

TI BLDCdrivers 400x275Texas Instruments (TI) has announced its first 70-watt brushless DC (BLDC) motor drivers that provide code-free, sensorless trapezoidal and field-oriented control (FOC). The devices enable engineers to spin a BLDC motor in less than 10 minutes – eliminating months of design time for engineers designing industrial systems such as major and small home appliances (including robotic vacuums), and medical applications such as ventilators and CPAP machines.

With integrated real-time control and up to 18 discrete components – including power metal-oxide semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFETs) – the devices also speed system response time while reducing board space by as much as 70%, TI said.

“The need for real-time motor control is more critical than ever, thanks to broad-reaching trends like power efficiency and automation, as well as increasing demand for quieter motors,” said Noman Akhtar, senior research analyst at Omdia. “A growing number of industrial systems are transitioning from AC induction to BLDC motors, which are more power-efficient but require complex hardware and optimized software designs to deliver high performance. Meeting designers’ needs for faster motor response while shortening the overall design cycle will be an important step forward for next-generation industrial systems.”

The MCF8316A and MCT8316A BLDC motor drivers include a set of commutation control algorithms that eliminate the need to develop, maintain, and quality motor-control software, eliminating months of design time, TI said. The algorithms, along with integration, enable the motor drivers to manage critical functions such as motor fault detection, while implementing protection mechanisms to increase system reliability. Because the motor drivers integrate sensorless technology to determine rotor position, they also eliminate the need for external Hall sensors, which reduces system cost and increases reliability, TI said.

In addition, the MCF8316A sensorless FOC motor driver can extract motor parameters, enabling designers to quickly tune a motor while delivering consistent system performance, regardless of motor manufacturing variations. The MCT8316A sensorless trapezoidal control motor driver enables designers to tune a motor using only five hardware pins, simplifying systems by eliminating the need for a microcontroller interface.

The MCT8316A sensorless trapezoidal control motor driver can reach a maximum motor electric speed of 3.5 kHz, which is faster than any other code-free, sensorless motor driver, TI said. This speeds system response in applications such as robotic vacuums that require fast and precise motor control.

Both drivers are also the industry’s first to provide a quick and controlled way to actively decelerate a motor, enabling engineers to stop a motor 50% faster than traditional motor-control techniques. Furthermore, the devices can stop a motor without indiscriminately pumping energy back into the rail, which protects the system from damage, TI said.

Pre-production versions of the MCF8316A and MCT8316A are available at TI’s website in a 40-pin, 5-mm-by-7-mm quad flat no-lead package. Pricing starts at $1.75 in 1,000-unit quantities, with multiple payment and shipping options available.

TI said it will demonstrate the new drivers during the company’s TI Live! Tech Exchange virtual event, Sept. 27-29, 2021. During the event, TI experts will discuss real-time control, vision sensing, automotive and power management design trends in a series of keynotes, roundtable discussions, technical sessions, and demonstrations. Learn more at the TI Tech Exchange website.