Chip-level motor, motion control vendors

Motor control and motion control have similarities and different objectives; motor control typically needs less precise regulation of speed and torque than motion control. See suppliers.



Motor control and motion control have similarities but also different objectives. Briefly stated, motor control typically needs less precise regulation of speed and torque than motion control. Actually, many motor control applications work in speed-control mode alone. Motion control refers to a more complex system, with more accurate speed and torque control-and often includes position control, along with path planning, loop-closure times, and specific acceleration/ deceleration requirements. Separate silicon devices apply to each type of control.

The May 2010 Advancing Technology column, Control Engineering North American edition, (, after May 1) discusses more about how microchips are doing more for motors and motion control, including:
- Microchip Technology Inc. integrates sensorless field-oriented control (FOC) and power factor control (PFC) on one chip-the company's dsPIC33F line of DSC devices.
- Performance Motion Devices Inc. (PMD), offers its Magellan family of motion-control ICs and boards that work with several motor types, including brush dc, brushless dc (bldc), step, and microstepping motors.
- STMicroelectronics Inc. (ST) also has extended its functions library that supports vector control of motors using ST's 32-bit STM32 microcontroller (MCU).
Look for that column for more on each of those. Also, the following short list of motor and motion control microchip vendors-and related technology suppliers-provides a sampling of the wide product range available. Note that these companies supply larger chip product markets well beyond motor or motion control.

- Altera Corp.-Offers Cyclone III field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) for integrating processors, digital logic interfaces, DSP functions, motor control IP (intellectual property), and multiple industrial Ethernet protocols into one device. Drive control algorithms are implemented in programmable logic.

- Analog Devices Inc. (ADI)-Products include single-chip ADMC200 (and ADMC201) motion coprocessors, which supply interface and signal-processing functions needed for permanent magnet (PM) ac servo motor control, based on feedback-controlled current from a resolver. ADMC201 and ADSP-2105 digital signal processor (also single-chip) work together as a "high-performance control engine for ac motor drive systems," according to ADI. The two devices can also be used to control ac induction motors, with an encoder replacing the resolver.

- Freescale Semiconductor Inc.-Applicable products range from MC9S08SF4 (8-bit) microcontroller (MCU) family for low-end motor control applications to ColdFire MCF51QE (32-bit) MCUs for 3-phase vector control of PM synchronous motors.

- International Rectifier - Has added a 600-V, 3-phase gate driver IC (IRS26302D) applicable to medium power appliance motor control and other general-purpose 3-phase inverter applications. IRS26302D integrates power gate driver transistors with 6 referenced output channels (3 high-side, 3 low-side) and has a seventh channel for a power factor correction (PFC) switch or inverter brake.

- Sanyo Semiconductor Co. Ltd.-Offers a variety of motor driver ICs for the following motor types: stepper (unipolar and bipolar), brush dc, brushless dc (1-, 2-, and 3-phase), voice coil, and piezo actuator.

- Texas Instruments Inc.-Stellaris microcontrollers (MCUs) support control of various electric motor types. MCU features include high-speed motion control (pulse-width modulation), quadrature feedback device inputs (for encoders, resolvers, tachometers, etc.), and fast analog-to-digital converters to support current measurement using Hall sensors or shunts for optimal adjustment of motor control algorithms.

- Toshiba America Electronic Components Inc.-Applicable products consist of motor controller and driver IC (integrated circuit) families for brush dc, brushless dc (bldc), and stepping motor types. Bldc motor controller/driver ICs combine a sine wave PWM drive controller and high-voltage driver in one silicon package. They can operate with or without rotor position sensors.

Also see from Control Engineering :

- Chip-Based Motion, Motor Control ;
- Motors and drives news and products .

- Frank J. Bartos, P.E., is a Control Engineering consulting editor. Reach him at

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