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Drive-on-a-chip is first to support digital and analogue sensors

22 November, 2015

Texas Instruments (TI) claims to have developed the first drive control system-on-a-chip (SoC) that supports both analogue and digital position sensors. It says that its TMS320F28379D and TMS320F28379S microcontrollers (MCUs) will eliminate the challenges of interfacing with position sensors in industrial AC inverter and servodrive applications.

By performing decoding tasks on-board and reducing communications latency, the dual-core and single-core chips are said to result in faster control loop execution. They also allow developers to cut system costs by using smaller boards than for FPGA or ASIC-based systems.

The chips, which have real-time control architectures, are an extension of TI's C2000 Delfino MCU portfolio and, when combined with its DesignDrive Position Manager technology, simplify interfacing with position sensors. The Position Manager gives access to functions that interface with EnDat 2.2, BiSS-C and Sin/Cos sensors, as well as resolvers, thus cutting development, support and testing times.

TI worked with the encoder-maker Heidenhain to test the chips and to ensure compatibility with its EnDat specification.

The Position Manager technology eliminates the effort needed to develop, support and maintain the FGPAs or ASICs currently required to connect to digital and analogue position sensors.

DesignDrive is supported by TI's C2000 controlSuite software which includes examples of vector control of motors, incorporating current, speed and position loops. The single hardware and software platform is said to simplify the development and evaluation of various industrial drive and servo topologies. The platform can accelerate the development of industrial inverters and servodrives for applications such as robotics, CNC machinery, elevators, materials-handling, and transportation.

TI's drive-on-a-chip saves space and allows faster control loop execution

A development kit is available to explore the various drive topologies, as well as developing real-time Ethernet communications and safety functions.

A downloadable integrated development environment, called Code Composer Studio, provides code generation and debugging capabilities.

The drive chips can be used with TI's new ISO5852S family of reinforced isolated gate drivers to develop drive power stages. These devices are said to deliver the industry's highest working voltages (up to 1.5kV rms), the highest common mode transient immunity (at least 100kV/μs), and the precision timing needed to drive HV and fast-switching IGBTs (insulated gate bipolar transistors) and silicon carbide (SiC) power switches directly.

Prices for the drive chips start at $17.20 in 1,000-off quantities. The DesignDrive kit, including hardware and software, costs $999.

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