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Motor driver IC suits automotive apps in harsh environments

Posted: 05 May 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Atmel? ATA6026? motor driver?

Atmel Corp. has announced the availability of the ATA6026, the first member of its new family of integrated motor driver ICs. The ATA6026 is designed using the high-voltage BCDMOS process and is suitable for applications in harsh environments.

According to Atmel, the device's optimized communication interface makes it suited for high-volume DC motor applications such as windshield wiper systems, door locks or seat position adjusters. This chip is used to drive continuous-current motors in full H-bridge configurations, and supports PWM and direction-controlled driving of four power MOSFETs.

The ATA6026 includes a differential SCI transceiver to reduce radiation emission for improved EMC performance, which is important since the device is usually located close to the car radio. In a dual front wiper system, one ATA6026 motor driver is used for the left wiper and a second for the right wiper.

Since the SCI interface handles the synchronization between the left and right wiper, explained Atmel, no mechanical link between the wipers is necessary as with conventional wiper systems, achieving considerable noise reduction and less space consumption. The deferential SCI transceiver can also operate in single-ended mode for systems with only one wiper.

The SCI functionality makes the ATA6026 similar to LIN devices, except the former has a faster data transfer rate of up to 100Kbaud, added the company.

The ATA6026 gate driver IC also integrates a 5V/100mA voltage regulator and a window watchdog, resulting in fewer external components for smaller designs requiring less PCB area. Motion control is likewise carried out by the IC so this function does not need additional memory in the microcontroller.

Due to the integration of the voltage regulator, motion control and the watchdog in a small QFN32 package, overall system costs can be reduced while maintaining the flexibility of the output stages for plug-and-play use in almost any kind of motor driver application without needing adaptation.

The low-power and low-drop on-chip regulator is used for both the internal and external voltage supply. An external transistor helps reduce power dissipation. When inactive, the device's sleep mode guarantees a low quiescent current of typically 35?A. The fully integrated charge pump supplies the gates of the external power MOSFETs of the high-side drivers in case of a permanent ON state (100 percent PWM, the bootstrap function is not available). In addition, the gate of the external power NMOS used for reverse battery protection is supplied by the charge pump output.

The ATA6026 provides several protective features such as over-temperature shutdown, overload, overvoltage and undervoltage protection, as well as full protection against short circuits. The device also meets strict automotive qualification demands (protection against conducted interference, EMC and ESD protection) and can withstand transients as specified in ISO/TR 7637/1.

Samples of the ATA6026 gate driver IC are available in Pb-free QFN32 packages with pricing starting at $1.99 for 10,000-piece quantities. Other products from Atmel's motor driver family, including devices for applications of up to 150C ambient temperatures, will be introduced in Q3 2006.

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