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Superfast chips promise better motor control

01 July, 2000

Superfast chips promise better motor control

Motor control chips that can process 40 million instructions per second (MIPS) have been unveiled by Motorola and by its rival, Texas Instruments. The semiconductor developers say that their new DSPs (digital signal processors) will leader to cheaper, more efficient and more flexible motor controls.

Motorola`s DSP56800 chips combine DSPs with microcontrollers (MCUs) to offer motor controllers that can run advanced algorithms to provide precise, efficient and reliable operation, according to the company.

As well as four, high-performance 40 MIPS DSP controllers, Motorola is extending its family of eight-bit motor control MCUs for use with low-cost, multi-phase motors. The chips can be used for applications ranging from simple open-loop controls to advanced, sensorless, closed-loop designs. They can be used with brushless DC, permanent magnet, AC induction and switched reluctance machines.

Debbie Drysdale, general manager of Motorola`s DSP products division, says that the company`s technologies will allow system designers "to significantly reduce cost, improve energy efficiency, and add flexibility to virtually all motor control systems".

Texas Instruments sees its 40 MIPS DSPs as a stepping stone towards its goal of 400 MIPS devices. There are 13 devices in TI`s new DSP range making it largest collection of DSPs dedicated to motor control, according to the company.

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