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Next-gen 12V motor drivers boost system reliability

Posted: 10 Dec 2014 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Texas Instruments? motor driver? PWM? DC motor? 3D printer?

Texas Instruments (TI) has added a couple of 12V devices to its line-up of motor drivers portfolio that promises to reduce spin-up time to just seconds and makes tuning stepper and brushed DC motors easier than ever before. The DRV8846 boasts a proprietary adaptive current control technology that automatically tunes motor performance for precise, smooth and quiet motion. The DRV8848 eases designs by using a simple pulse-width modulation (PWM) control interface and minimal external components, detailed the company.

Both devices are fully protected against fault conditions, which reduces design complexity and increases system reliability in motor applications such as 3D printers; IP security cameras; refrigerator damper control; heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC); home automation equipment; and robotic vacuums, TI indicated.

DRV8846, DRV8848

The DRV8846 and DRV8848 feature zero tuning effort. Adaptive current regulation, available on the DRV8846, dynamically changes current regulation schemes according to load conditions, with no configuration required. This simplifies system-level tuning and debugging, which allows end equipment manufactures to get their products to market more quickly.

The DRV8846's 1/32 micro-stepping indexer, coupled with adaptive current regulation, provides minimal current ripple, which enables smooth, precise motion profiles and reduced acoustic noise.

The DRV8848 can operate without current sense resistors, leaving supply decoupling capacitors as the only external components required for operation. More precise motor operation can be achieved by including the resistors and enabling on-chip current regulation.

Advanced on-chip protection, including over-current protection, thermal shutdown, under-voltage lockout and diagnostics with fault condition feedback, protect both the motor driver and motor, reducing design complexity and increasing system reliability.

Two fully-tested reference designs are available to speed time-to-market. The 3D printer reference design is a complete three-axis, single-extruder system that uses the DRV8846's adaptive current regulation to precisely drive four stepper motors from a single 12V supply. The refrigerator damper and fan motor control design uses the DRV8848 integrated motor driver for airflow and direction control inside a refrigerator in a single-layer PCB design.

The DRV8846EVM and DRV8848EVM evaluation modules (EVMs) allow customers to quickly and easily evaluate device features and performance and see first-hand how simple the tuning process is. The EVM includes a user-friendly GUI via MSP430 MCU and USB interfaces for $49.

For those wishing to learn more about brushed DC motor drive stage design, the BOOST-DRV8848 BoosterPack kit is available for $25. The design contains everything needed to drive single or dual brush DC motors and supports a parallel mode for higher current needs.

The DRV8846 is available in a 24-pin, 4 x 4mm QFN package. Suggested retail pricing in 1,000-unit quantities starts at $1.50. The DRV8848 is available in a 16-pin, 5 x 6.4mm HTSSOP package. Suggested retail pricing in 1,000-unit quantities starts at $1.30.

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