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8bit MCU family qualifies for automotive apps

Posted: 13 Dec 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:MCU? microcontrollers? automotive? STMicroelectronics? ST?

STMicroelectronics has announced that its ST7FMC MCU family has been qualified to meet the demands of the automotive market. Built around an industry-standard 8bit core and designed for driving brushless direct current (BLDC) motors, this MCU family is suitable for various car body applications such as fuel and water pumps, cooling fans and interior blowers.

The ST7FMC family features higher system integration compared to alternative microprocessor or DSP-based approaches, ST said. These devices minimize the need for external components and reduce PCB space, thus lowering the cost of the overall application. The family features an embedded motor-control cell, which includes six-phase PWM control, voltage or current sensing and a highly flexible back electromotive force (BEMF) detector for the sensorless control of permanent-magnet BLDC motors.

All the application-specific devices in the family now operate over the full automotive temperature range of -40C to 125C and include safety features such as current sensing used for stall detection, asynchronous emergency stop, write-once registers and clock security system (CSS). ST's patented algorithms also enable the motor-control cell to offer unique fail-free motor-starting capabilities.

The higher integration of the family allows reduced code size, while the addition of the motor-control cell minimizes the CPU load to control the motor. In addition, an integrated LIN communication interface and the availability of a complete set of standard peripherals control various application environments.

All devices in the family are supported by an extensive range of state-of-the-art development tools. Dedicated automotive evaluation and development kits are designed to allow customers to prove device performance in their own applications. Furthermore, the ST7FMC family, with easy-to-use software and complete motor control C-libraries, promises advantages in terms of productivity and faster time-to-market.

Housed in tiny TQFP32 and TQFP44 packages, the devices are available today in production volume. Pricing starts from $1.65, depending on the device, in 10,000-unit quantities.

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