Integrated bridge drivers enable smart motor control

12th November 2014
Posted By : Siobhan O'Gorman
Integrated bridge drivers enable smart motor control

To address the growing trend towards intelligent motor control, Infineon Technologies has introduced the ARM-based Embedded Power family of bridge drivers at electronica 2014. Claimed to be an industry first, the drivers feature a high-performance MCU powered by the ARM Cortex-M3 processor, NVM, analogue and mixed signal peripherals, communication interfaces and MOSFET gate drivers.

Therefore, the Infineon Embedded Power family offers 32-bit performance in an application space that it is typically associated with 16-bit. 

The TLE987x series of bridge drivers addresses 3-phase (BLDC) motor applications such as fuel pumps, HVAC blowers, engine cooling fans, water pumps as well as other pumps and fans. It supports sensor-less and sensor based (including field-oriented control) BLDC motor applications addressed by LIN or controlled via PWM. Its LIN transceiver is compatible with LIN 2.2 and certified by IBEE-Zwickau and C&S Group. The TLE987x series includes six fully integrated NFET drivers optimised to drive a 3-phase motor via six external power NFETs.

The TLE986x series is optimised to drive 2-phase DC motors by integrating four NFET drivers. The TLE986x series is suitable for applications such as sunroofs, power window lifts and generic smart motor control via NFET H-Bridge.

Infineon combined its proprietary automotive qualified 130nm Smart Power manufacturing technology with its experience in motor control drivers into the highly integrated Embedded Power family, available in a standard QFN package of only 7x7mm in dimension. Where previous multi-chip designs needed a standalone MCU, a bridge driver and a LIN transceiver, automotive system suppliers now benefit from motor control designs with a minimal external component count. The Embedded Power products reduce the component count from more than 150 down to less than 30, thus allowing integration of all functions and associated external components for the motor control in a PCB area of merely 3cm². Thereby, the Embedded Power family enables the integration of electronics close to the motor for true mechatronic designs.

Both, the TLE987x and the TLE986x, use the ARM Cortex TM-M3 processor. Their peripheral set includes a current sensor, a successive approximation 10-bit ADC synchronised with the capture and compare unit (CAPCOM6) for pulse width modulation control and 16-bit timers. Furthermore, a LIN transceiver is integrated to enable communication to the devices along with a number of general purpose I/Os. Both series include an on-chip linear voltage regulator to supply external loads. Their flash memory is scalable from 36 to 128kB. They operate from 5.4 up to 28V. An integrated charge pump enables low voltage operation using only two external capacitors, resulting in a significant BOM reduction when compared with the commonly used voltage bootstrap techniques. The bridge drivers feature programmable charging and discharging current. The patented current slope control technique optimises the system EMC behaviour for a wide range of MOSFETs. The products can withstand load dump conditions up to 40V while maintaining an extended supply voltage operating down to 3.0V where the MCU and the flash memory are fully functional.

“Smart motor control applications demand a large variety of sophisticated motor control schemes that are driven by energy efficiency, system cost reduction and comfort needs,” said Andreas Doll, Vice President & General Manager, Automotive Body Power, Infineon Technologies. “Infineon addresses these design challenges with its automotive qualified Embedded Power family for intelligent motor control using the ARM Cortex-M3 processor. Fostering the SoC approach that combines a powerful MCU, the MOSFET gate drivers along with all necessary sense, control and actuate functions, our scalable Embedded Power family makes automotive system suppliers benefit from reduced system costs, improved reliability and less system level complexity.”

Infineon and third party vendors support the ARM Cortex-M3 based Embedded Power family of bridge drivers by a complete development tool chain. It includes compilers, debuggers, evaluation board, LIN low-level driver and configuration tool as well as example software code for motor control. Also, Infineon provides starter kits to support the design-in.

Engineering samples of the TLE987x and TLE986x bridge drivers in a space-saving VQFN-48 package are available with volume production planned to start in Q1 2015. For both series, there are several derivatives available, differing for example in system clock (24 or 40MHz) and flash sizes.

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