Machine Design

Motor control made easy

Today's power and motor-control systems need to be flexible and intelligent, especially when it comes to complying with the increasing trend of cutting power costs on the millions of motors used in consumer and industrial products. A new line of motor-control chips can help designers reach those goals.

Motor-control chips from Microchip feature up to 256 bytes of on-board data EEPROM and 10 Mips performance at 40 MHz.

A new 8-bit Flash microcontroller family from Microchip Technology, Chandler, Ariz. (, features built-in motor-control peripherals saving designers precious board space. Three new modules address motion and power-control applications. Power-control modules feature a three-phase PWM structure and the motion-feedback module includes a quadrature encoder interface. The third module has a 200-k sample/sec analog-to-digital converter which can synchronize with the PWM. Together, these modules eliminate need for external motor-control components such as converters and resonators, lowering cost and saving board space.

Other features include up to eight PWM channels with 14-bit resolution, center alignment, programmable dead-time, and two external fault-protection inputs. An internal RC oscillator has eight selectable frequencies from 31.25 kHz to 8 MHz. It also includes four general-purpose timers, a clock monitor for fail-safe operation, and an enhanced USART supporting RS485, RS232, and LIN.

The PIC18F4331/4431 devices come in 40-pin DIP, 44-pin TQFP and QFN packages. The PIC18F2331/2431 comes in 28-pin SDIP, SOIC, and QFN packages.

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