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Motion chip also controls machines
Published:  06 December, 2007

US-based System Semiconductor has developed a complete motion-control-system-on-a-chip which can handle time-critical tasks to control and position multi-phase stepper motors. The M3000 chip (shown below) combines motion and motor control building blocks, with a high-speed, general-purpose microcontroller, and includes communications and analogue functions.

System Semi motion chip

"What we did in the M3000 was create a chip you can utilize for general machine control, while simultaneously performing time-critical motion and motor control operations," says System Semiconductorís president, Dave Couto. "We integrated a custom block of hardware that does two things: it controls the motor; and it handles all of the positioning functions such as acceleration, deceleration, velocity, positioning and encoder feedback.

"It becomes a system rather than just a motion controller," he adds. "What sets us apart is this unique approach. In other cases, you would need to buy multiple ICs to accomplish all these functions.

Coutu says that the integration of patented phase current control circuitry allows motor performance to reach new limits of speed and smoothness, while lowering noise and vibration.

System Semiconductor is a spin-off from Intelligent Motion Systems.

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