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Firmware eases motor drive design

Posted: 29 Jun 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:motor-control? firmware library? intelligent drives?

STMicroelectronics (ST) has released the STM32 FOC PMSM SDK v3.0 motor-control firmware library, a resource that the company promises simplifies design and speeds up development of energy-saving intelligent motor drives for applications such as white goods, air conditioners, industrial automation, power tools and fitness equipment.

ST said the firmware library adds support for the STM32 Value Line series (STM32F100x), enabling designers to realize intelligent drives at lower price points for cost-sensitive applications. It also targets the STM32 Performance Line High-Density series (STM32F103xx), utilizing the large program flash memory combined with the advanced peripheral offering, to implement a dual-motor drive in a single controller, saving cost, size and development time. ST noted that this is the first ST library to support dual motor controls and will benefit designers of equipment such as air conditioning units, industrial automation and robotics systems.

Also offered as part of ST's motor-drive solution is a graphical PC tool for the configuration of the firmware library. According to ST, the MC Workbench v1.0.2 simplifies the task of assembling the blocks and customizing the drive to perform as required.

The company stated that by using the STM32 firmware library, designers can configure controllers for 3-phase permanent magnet synchronous motors (PMSM) using field oriented control (FOC), which is a key algorithm for an efficient, silent and responsive motor drive. The library provides a comprehensive set of functionalities, including both torque control and speed control with on-the-fly switching capability. It also features ST's patented algorithm for single-shunt resistor-based current reading, MTPA for IPMSM, flux weakening, feed forward and brake strategy. The C-code provided conforms to MISRA-C 2004 rules and ISO/ANSI standards.

The library contains IP blocks supporting speed and position detection using sensors such as Hall-effect or encoder devices, or sensorless algorithms. By supporting several configurations, the library gives designers flexibility to choose the approach that best suits their application, ST explained. This version of the software library also provides designers with extra control to customize aspects such as MCU pin assignments and an application example based on the FreeRTOS operating system, ST continued.

Designers can build and optimize their drives without the need to edit code directly by using the new graphical configuration tool MC Workbench v1.0.2. This eliminates a difficult, time consuming and error-prone aspect of the design process, ST said.

The company is also offering a starter kit, providing designers with a head start when developing motor-control applications. The STM3210B-MCKIT is ready to run, containing a motor-control board, processor board and 3-phase brushless motor, as well as software libraries and development/debugging tools. The kit shortens time to market by allowing developers to apply what they learn in the evaluation phase to real-world applications, concludes ST.

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