Power Integrations releases new BLDC motor control software

Power Integrations has unveiled new motor control software for Three-Phase brushless DC (BLDC) motor drives for use with its BridgeSwitch integrated half-bridge motor driver and Motor-Expert configuration and diagnostics tool. This complete hardware-software solution delivers several benefits including 98.2% efficiency and a 70% reduction in board space. It also cuts the component count for current feedback circuitry from 30 components in a discrete solution to just three components, according to the company.

“Traditional three-shunt field-oriented control (FOC) solutions require expensive and bulky operational amplifiers (op-amps) and matching circuity for motor-current signal conditioning,” said Cristian Ionescu-Catrina, senior product marketing manager for Power Integrations, in a statement. “Our BridgeSwitch integrated half-bridge ICs provide lossless current feedback for the positive half cycle, and our three-phase FOC software reconstructs the negative half-cycle current information from data present in the other phase current signals. This eliminates the need for costly and inefficient external current sense resistors, op-amps and matching circuitry and the associated complexity.”

Power Integrations releases new BLDC motor control software

Click for a larger image. (Source: Power Integrations)

The updated Motor-Expert 2.0 design tool provides a graphical user interface (GUI) that enables manipulation of input parameters, as well as a terminal emulator for interacting with the motor controller in serial mode. The interface enables users to visualize system operation, displaying the status of data, including current, speed, status, current error, and speed error.

Motor and application tuning is performed through the Motor-Expert 2.0 GUI with control loop coefficients being updated in real-time without having to recompile code, said Power Integrations. A diagnostics field in the software interface provides insight into inverter and motor operation.

The new control software adds three-phase FOC to the existing library of single-phase code and allows the real-time adjustment of motor speed and torque via the Motor-Expert GUI. The code runs ON any Arm Cortex-M0 at 48 MHz and does not require a hardware accelerator block, said the company, and it can also be ported to other equivalent MCUs.

The current modeling algorithm has passed extensive static and dynamic test conditions, including low latency response to real-time events. The new code is MISRA C-compliant (Motor Industry Software Reliability Association), portable, modular and allows the user to modify any of the software layers.

Offering a complete tool for motor drive development, the BridgeSwitch ICs, Motor-Expert 2.0, and three-phase motor control software are available now and include a downloadable manual for the software architecture, APIs, functions, calls, and variables used in the code.

The new three-phase motor control code and Motor-Expert 2.0 tool are offered as part of the Motor-Expert Suite under a free license for use with BridgeSwitch ICs. BridgeSwitch ICs are priced starting at $1.69 in quantities of 10,000.

Power Integrations also offers a new three-phase inverter reference design, DER-964, that uses three BridgeSwitch integrated half-bridge ICs and provides up to 300-W output power without requiring a heatsink. It is suitable for a range of applications, such as compressors, range hoods, as well as residential and commercial fans and pumps. The design occupies a 65 × 50-mm PCB and can be used with any Cortex-M0 or equivalent microcontroller.

Power Integrations is exhibiting at embedded world in Hall 1, booth #1-411.

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