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ZiLOG flash MCUs eye BLDC, AC induction motor control apps

Posted: 05 Oct 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:zilog? z8 encore!? flash mcu? z8fmc16100? z8fmc08100?

ZiLOG Inc. launched its Z8 Encore! MC family, a new generation of flash MCUs targeted at sensorless Brushless DC (BLDC) and AC Induction motor control applications. Already available, the Z8 Encore! MC series is initially offered with a choice of 16KB (Z8FMC16100), 8KB (Z8FMC08100) or 4KB (Z8FMC04100) of flash memory.

According to ZiLOG chairman and CEO James Thorburn, today's motor control applications bring a set of challenges and demands ideal for versatile and full-featured application-specific 8bit MCUs. "We have conducted extensive research into customer requirements in this market and have developed a new family of MCUs that we believe are leading edge solutions for advanced motor control architectures, including sensorless BLDC motor control systems," said Thorburn. "Our strategy is to create and produce innovative, highly integrated, price-competitive system solutions for motor control technologies. These solutions will help solve engineering challenges such as fast over-current detection and fault control, reliable operation and back-EMF sensing at a wide range of speeds including very low speeds, along with extremely smooth start-up and reversal of the direction of rotation."

The new motor control offering not only includes the actual silicon but also the firmware, development tools and turnkey solutions, as well as expert application support. The Z8FMC16100 serves up a number of key benefits designed to improve performance, add scalability and keep overall system cost to a minimum, added ZiLOG, all important factors in motor control application design and development. This new product provides for seamless operation of the motor at slower speeds, reducing power consumption and increasing energy efficiency. The on-chip integrated analog-to-digital converter (ADC) with its 'Time Stamp' feature is coupled to the 3-phase PWM output module, a feature that allows for very accurate speed control. In addition, the advanced integrated analog modules allow for current sampling, as well as 'on-the-fly' implementation of torque or speed control.

Other key features include direct routing of the current sensing module to the PWM module, providing for very fast shutdown of the system during an overcurrent fault, and multiple, integrated communication peripherals (I?C, SPI, UART and LIN), which means that the unit will be compatible with whatever communication protocol the end- user device uses.

The press release further said that the ZiLOG's MCU-based design offers the customer the option to add more complex and differentiating features. The 16KB of onboard Flash memory and 17 general purpose I/Os allow for incorporating a variety of new system functions.

Pricing is $2.50 in volumes of 5,000 units for the 16KB version, standard temperature range. Internal factory programming is available from ZiLOG at a nominal charge, and third-party programming support for the new devices is offered by a number of third-party partners, including BP Micro, HI-LO and Data I/O.

Also available for the Z8 Encore! MC family is a comprehensive motor control-specific development tool suite, which retail at $199.95. This suite is a complete 'out-of-the-box' motor control solution, including a BLDC motor, application board, ZDS II with full ANSI C Compiler, motor control software code, and an opto-isolated USB smart cable for debugging and programming. The opto-isolated USB smart cable is also offered at $75 and is compatible with Z8 Encore! and Z8 Encore! XP products. The company also offers a high-end, in-circuit emulator (ICE) kit, which includes package adapters and event trace functions. This retails for $1,999.

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