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Smart rotary encoders integrate MCU, custom ASIC

Posted: 21 Jan 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:CUI? rotary encoder? MCU? ASIC? motor control?

CUI Inc. has developed what it describes as a line-up of intelligent rotary encoders that integrate an MCU and a custom ASIC. According to the company, this innovative design gives the encoder a considerable level of versatility, enabling developers to quickly configure the encoder's resolution, zero position and pole count, among others.

Configurable resolution, for instance, lets a developer adjust the encoder for optimum match with a PID control algorithm, according to CUI's VP of motion control Jeff Smoot, rather that changing parts. A configurable zero position, he added, can greatly reduce the time needed to install and align the encoder/motor combination by eliminating the need to manually rotate them to the index position before locking them down.

CUI rotary sensor

MCU and custom ASIC inside a rotary sensor

Intelligence in the encoder also allows the device to offer built-in diagnostics, which Smoot said can help both developers and end-system users. Diagnostic data helps the developer during design by working to eliminate the encoder from the suspect list during debugging. Diagnostics help in the field by providing insight into encoder health before failures occur, and help separate encoder behaviour from any preventative maintenance analysis of motor operation that might seek to identify issues such as misalignment or bearing wear. Smoot also said the built-in diagnostics can also allow systems to verify that encoders are operating before engaging motors in critical motion-control applications, to avoid possible damage.

- Rich Quinnell
??EE Times

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