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MCU delivers vector control capability

Posted: 21 Nov 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:MCU? MCUs? microcontrollers? microcontroller? ZiLOG?

The Z8 Encore! MC (FMC16100 series) from ZiLOG Inc. is touted to be the first 8bit MCU to offer vector control capability, a feature that significantly lowers BOM costs for appliance manufacturers, reduces both energy consumption and, in appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines, water usage.

Vector control was previously claimed to be the domain of digital signal processors, digital signal controllers (DSCs) and 16bit or 32bit microcontrollers. With the vector control capability developed by ZiLOG engineers, the myth that only high-end MCUs or DSPs can perform vector control algorithms has been dispelled, according to ZiLOG.

The vector control required by today's more advanced appliances enables precise, highly-responsive speed control during changes in the load and optimizes motor efficiency during transitional operations. In front-loading washing machines, for example, where the motor typically runs at up to 18,000 rpm, the fast acceleration possible with vector control reduces power and saves time in the wash cycle.

In addition, precise speed control is required to deliver the necessary clothes agitation that is key to reducing water consumption. The precise speed control, also a function of vector control, helps to further reduce the energy used during operation. In addition, by improving overall system efficiency, the designer can minimize wear and tear, helping to extend the overall operation life of the product.

- Marty Gold

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