[News] [36kr] Motor control and drive, roll to a new level
2023.12.03 10:00

Over the past year, the semiconductor market has experienced an unprecedented downward shock. Looking ahead to the coming year, more and more institutions and industry players predict that the market is about to pick up. Which field is the most volatile this year? That must be a motor drive. 

Global industry trends show that the demand for motion control systems driven by electric motors is expected to grow significantly. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), industrial energy accounts for 37% of the world's total energy consumption and 24% of global carbon dioxide emissions, and buildings and buildings account for 30% of the world's total energy consumption and 28% of global carbon dioxide emissions, and a large part of energy consumption is related to electric motors. It is estimated that about 70% of industrial electricity is used to power electric motors. In commercial buildings, 38% of the electrical energy consumed is used to drive electric motors. 

Motors are not only used in industry, but also in new energy vehicles and even consumer electronics, from better hair dryers to more comfortable electric vehicles, countless new experiences are brought by motor innovation. The fast-growing motor drive market also places higher demands on electronic design and chip performance, such as high reliability, more comprehensive protection and diagnostic functions, intelligence, and flexibility. 

Recently, some chip manufacturers have launched various motor control and drive products, this article takes stock of the recent trends of chip giants, in order to spy on the development of the entire motor drive market. It may not be comprehensive, if there is anything to add, please give me a lot of advice. 

TI is a real leader in the motor industry, and its controllers, drivers, signal chains and other products are very good. This year, the motor controller king C2000 has been upgraded to TMS320F28P650DK, with 2 C28x+CLA CPUs, 1.28MB flash memory, 16-bit ADC, HRPWM, EtherCAT, CAN-FD, AES, and a C2000 32-bit MCU with lockstep function. The name of the P-series also means that the C2000 emphasizes its high-performance characteristics, and the white paper directly writes that it provides real-time signal chain performance equivalent to 1000 MHz Arm Cortex-M7. 

In addition, TI also launched the MSPM0 with Cortex M0+ this year, which has low power consumption and low cost. 

In addition, we have a wide range of products, including gate drivers and motor drivers with sensors. 

Two of the more interesting products we saw this year are a configurable DSP ULC1001 for ultrasonic lens cleaning, with current and voltage detection and PWM outputs, specifically for piezoelectric effect-based lens cleaning systems. ULC1001 and DRV29xx work together to create an ultrasonic lens cleaning system.


The other is to provide a motor drive for Dot's Dot Pad for the blind. Braille tablets are not new, but the Dot Pad takes the idea to the next level, boasting a large area of 2400 × 30 cells made up of 10 dots that change in real-time to reflect images from a paired iPad or iPhone. There is also a smaller area with 20×1 cells. TI's motor drive can execute miniature devices at these points to build the bulges into figurative, tactile figures.


While ADI doesn't have a lot of products in motor control, it offers signal chain solutions that integrate superior precision feedback, current sensing, isolation, power management, and connectivity to provide a holistic intelligent motion solution. In addition, since the acquisition of Maxim, Trinamic's products are gradually strengthening ADI's accumulation in motor control, and ADI demonstrated Trinamic's products at this year's CIIE.


This year, ADI has been promoting its predictive maintenance solutions for electric motors. ADI has long seen the market potential for predictive maintenance of electric motors, and in 2018 began to acquire predictive maintenance software and platform vendors including OtoSense and Test Motors, and through the integration of ADI, the different products were integrated into a complete Smart Motor Senor (SMS) solution.

The solution consists of three parts, starting with a hardware platform that integrates ADI's vibration and temperature sensors, as well as products such as the signal chain, which are responsible for collecting the operating state of the motor. Second, there is a set of predictive maintenance algorithms developed by ADI, which currently supports failure algorithms including rotor, stator, bearing, balance, cooling system, loose support legs, etc., which have been deployed in the cloud, and the data connection to the edge is carried out via secure MQTT and supports OTA updates. The other is a set of HMI running on mobile phones or computers, which displays the health index in the form of charts and provides operation and maintenance guidance. At the same time, in order to integrate with the smart factory platform, ADI has also opened up the API interface. 
Microchip has introduced the AVR EB family of microcontrollers to reduce the effects of noise, vibration, and system harshness in BLDC applications. Historically, achieving these benefits required complex control algorithms and waveforms that were beyond the capabilities of cost-optimized controllers, but Microchip has leveraged the AVR EB's powerful Core Independent Peripherals (CIP) combined with powerful and efficient AVR CPU cores to create a family of 8-bit MCUs capable of driving high-precision systems, optimizing system performance, and reducing BOM cost. 
I really like Microchip's motor control solutions, with its PIC/AVR/SAM microcontrollers and dsPIC digital signal controllers (DSCs) that enable advanced motor control functions with great efficiency and low cost. What's more, Arduino is just one of Microchip's rich ecosystem around electric motors, as well as development kits, software development, evaluation and simulation, as well as a variety of application manuals and training tutorials. In addition, the company features an extensive network of partners and agents, as well as online forums for Q&A. 
As shown in the figure, in addition to the main chip, Microchip also includes a wide range of products such as single-chip motor drivers and gate drivers to cope with different motor types. 
STMicroelectronics is the absolute king in the field of MCUs and power devices, and if Microchip's growth is an inspirational story, I believe that the story of ST's growth in the MCU field has become a myth. 

As shown in the diagram, ST has processors for different types of motors.

Needless to say, the STM32 ecosystem is no longer available, and all kinds of motor development related content can be found on the Internet. This year, ST launched the Cosmic Cost-Effective Cortex-M0+ STM32C0, whose slogan is a radical alternative to 8-bit MCUs, which is highly recommended for use in low-cost motor control. In addition, it is a high-performance, Cortex-M33 core STM32H5, which can be used as a replacement for H7 in many scenarios, and has better security.

Recently, STMicroelectronics has been promoting its Zest software algorithm, a versatile solution that provides zero-speed optimal sensorless control for any type of permanent magnet synchronous motor. To achieve this, the STM32 ZeST algorithm works seamlessly with the new High Sensitivity Observer (HSO) algorithm to control the motor in sensorless mode. As an embedded software solution, no additional hardware or special peripherals are required in STM32 microcontrollers.

At this year's STM32 Summit, STMicroelectronics also presented an example of using STM32's AI technology to optimize motor drives, and we believe that AI will also become a hot topic in motor control in the future.

ST is also known for its STSPIN portfolio. STMicroelectronics has unveiled a STSPIN9 series of high-current motor driver ICs, featuring two products for high-end industrial equipment, home appliances, and professional equipment.

ST's automotive-grade motor control products are primarily MCUs with its SPC5 32-bit Power architecture.

Renesas is the first brother of MCU and the boss of Japanese semiconductors. With the acquisition of several European and American companies, the company became increasingly global.

In May of this year, Renesas announced three new MCU product groups for motor control applications, including more than 35 new products from the RX and RA families. These new MCUs expand Renesas' superior motor control portfolio, which includes a wide range of MCUs and MPUs, analog and power solutions, sensors, communication equipment, signal conditioners, and more.

Renesas introduces two new MCU lineups based on the Arm Cortex-M RA family. Among them, the RA4T1 product group offers 100 MHz performance, as well as up to 256KB of flash memory and 40KB of SRAM; The new RA6T3 group operates at 200MHz and offers both 256KB of flash memory and 40KB of SRAM. Both new product groups are targeted at motor control applications and offer a range of outstanding features and capabilities, including trigonometric units (TFUs) for acceleration, advanced ADCs with integrated PGAs, and a wide selection of communication interfaces including CAN FD. The Renesas Flexi Configuration Software Package (FSP) supports all of these new products, making it easy to port designs from other RA products.

In addition, Renesas is introducing the new RX26T product group of the RX product family, which operates at 120MHz and features up to 512KB of flash memory and 64KB of SRAM. Not only do they support a 5V power supply with high noise immunity and control accuracy, but they also provide TFU, on-chip timing, and interrupt control. Users of the popular RX24T MCUs can easily extend their designs to the new RX26T products to take full advantage of their existing design software while improving both performance and control.

Through MCUs, analog and power devices, as well as a wider range of development kits and software and even system-level solutions.

Renesas has announced a new roadmap for the automotive market.