Design tools ease motor control implementations

August 23, 2013 // By Graham Prophet
Texas Instruments has a packjage to simplify design with its InstaSPIN-FOC sensorless motor control technology for low-cost motor applications, using C2000 Piccolo F2802x real-time control microcontrollers (MCUs) equipped with InstaSPIN-FOC technology.

Highly efficient, three-phase motor control expertise, once only obtainable by a niche market of motor designers, is now available to a wider audience of developers, claims TI, with the introduction of InstaSPIN-FOC (field-oriented-control) sensorless motor control technology to its most affordable, real-time-control C2000 Piccolo F2802x microcontrollers (MCUs) series, offering a smaller package size and much lower cost. You can use TI InstaSPIN-FOC technology, embedded in the read-only-memory (ROM) on the C2000 Piccolo F2802x MCU to accelerate motor control development while improving efficiency for cost-sensitive BLDC (brushless DC), PMSM (permanent magnet), and AC Induction motor based applications.

With the ability to identify, tune and control any type of three-phase, synchronous or asynchronous motor in minutes, TI's low-cost Piccolo F2802x MCUs with InstaSPIN-FOC are suited to applications such as washing machines, compressors, pumps, fans, electric bicycles, tools, treadmills, compact drives, sewing and textile machines, lifts and hobby motors. TI says that prior to to its launch of InstaSPIN-FOC technology, sensorless field-oriented-control was out of reach for most developers because existing sensorless algorithms were not robust enough over real application conditions and were challenging to implement into a complex control system, adding months of development time. InstaSPIN-FOC technology addresses those concerns by reducing system complexity for designers of all levels while improving motor efficiency, reliability and performance at an affordable price point.

Piccolo F2802x MCUs with InstaSPIN-FOC technology are available to a broad range of motor designers with the 48-pin package, 32 or 64 KB of Flash and around $2 USD for high volume applications, saving months of design time with nearly fully automated motor parameter identification, software observer tuning, and torque control tuning.

A free, interactive InstaSPIN-FOC online simulation tool allows early evaluation. Close-to encoder performance comes with the embedded on-chip FAST observer algorithm, which through only analysis of currents and voltages, calculates a reliable and robust estimation of rotor flux, angle, speed and torque across use conditions. Accurate, sensorless estimator performance