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Motor controller IC extends battery life in consumer apps

Posted: 02 Oct 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:STMicroelectronics? motor controller IC? hard disk drive? HDD? power FET?

STMicroelectronics' new L7208 motor controller IC

Citing an optimized chip partitioning scheme that extends battery life in consumer applications, STMicroelectronics' compact L7208 motor controller IC for 1.8-inch and sub-1.8-inch HDDs, in an ultrathin LGA package, integrates its power FETs and all of the circuitry for driving the spindle motor and voice coil actuator.

The L7208, in bipolar-CMOS-DMOS (BCD) technology, includes the company's Smooth Drive pseudo-sinusoidal digital-drive technique for minimizing acoustic noise from the spindle motor, and a free-fall detector interface. Power consumption is reportedly extremely low in all operating modes, including a highly efficient sleep mode, to extend battery life. The controller's class AB output stage, delivering up to 0.5A peak current, has zero dead-band and minimal crossover distortion. The voice-coil section includes a 14bit DAC for current commands and load/unload circuits.

The spindle-motor section also includes circuits for spindle-current limiting, start-up position sensing, and spindle braking during power-down. The L7208 is register controlled, and connects to the host system through a serial bus running at up to 50MHz. Auxiliary functions integrated on the chip include an internal isolation FET, a 10bit ADC, programmable voltage regulators and a shock sensor.

Samples of the L7208 will be available this month, priced at $15.

- Vince Biancomano

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