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Simplifying stepper motor system design

Posted: 15 Sep 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:motor system design? stepper motor? power IC?

Contemporary stepper motor drive systems typically use an integrated power IC that drives the motor and may integrate some simple controls like the current control. More advanced control ICs also integrate a state machine to control the stepping sequence for the motor. Generally, the step timing and the motion profile are controlled by an external microcontroller or dedicated logic in an ASIC. For multiple motor controls, either the dedicated logic is replicated for each motor or the microcontroller has additional software loading for each motor being controlled. A new IC, the L6470, simplifies the implementation of multiple motor controls by integrating a digital control core with the driver IC. Working in voltage mode, the IC is able to manage user-defined movement profiles at up to 1/128 microstepping with minimal loading on the main microcontroller. In this implementation, a single micro can easily manage several motors since it only has to issue high level movement commands to the IC.

The controller IC L6470 for stepper motors integrates the power stage along with a digital control core on a monolithic IC. The device can receive motion profile commands across the SPI interface and autonomously execute the complete movement using the programmed acceleration and speed profile. It can also autonomously accelerate the motor up and keep it running at a programmed speed.

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