TI updates stepper motor drives, extends “AutoTune” setup

January 11, 2016 // By Graham Prophet
AutoTune technology, Texas Instruments asserts, dynamically tunes motors, and integrated current sensing, while saving 20% board space.

TI’s high-performance stepper motor-driver family gains three new devices for 24-V stepper motors. Two devices offer the AutoTune technology to eliminate stepper motor tuning; and two integrate current sensing to support differentiated 3D printers, robotics, factory automation equipment, currency-counting machines and more

AutoTune technology on the DRV8880 and DRV8881 devices eliminates the time-consuming, iterative process of manual tuning, saving weeks or even months of design time. This on-chip intelligence dynamically monitors the motor's performance under varied conditions over its lifetime and adjusts decay settings appropriately. This, says TI, makes it possible to develop motors that run quietly and efficiently despite changes in motor properties, supply voltage, load and torque.

For motor systems that do not require the stability and longevity benefits of AutoTune technology, the DRV8885 bipolar stepper motor driver has integrated current sensing. Its technology eliminates two external sense resistors to accurately regulate the current to the motor, saving up to 20% board space and simplifying routing compared to competing devices.

Other key features of the new stepper motor drivers are in the table below.

Device

Feature

Control interface

Current capacity

On-chip microstepping

DRV8880

AutoTune

Step/

Direction

2.0 A full scale

(maximum drive current)

Yes; up to 1/16.

DRV8881

AutoTune

Phase/enable

2.0 A full scale

(maximum drive current)

No; external control allows for higher microstepping levels.

DRV8885

Integrated current sensing

Step/

Direction

1.5 A full scale

(maximum drive current)

Yes; up to 1/16.

 

DRV8884

Integrated current sensing

Step/

Direction

1 A full scale (maximum drive current)

Yes; up to 1/16.

 

Designers can speed evaluation and design with the new stepper-motor drivers using the DRV8880EVM, DRV8881EEVM (for phase/enable interface), DRV8881PEVM (for PWM interface) and DRV8885EVM evaluation modules (EVMs). Each EVM features an onboard MSP430 microcontroller, giving designers a cost-effective platform that speeds development and time to market. Each costs $49.

The DRV8880 and DRV8881, in 28-pin very thin quad flat no-lead (WQFN) and heat-sink thin-shrink small-outline package (HTSSOP)