Simplified motor control with new software and hardware ecosystem

07-11-2022 | Toshiba Electronics | Industrial

Toshiba Electronics Europe GmbH introduces the MCU Motor Studio, pulling together PC-based design tools, microcontroller firmware, and low-cost evaluation hardware to speed up time to market for motor-control applications hosted on Toshiba TXZ+4A MCUs.

The new firmware suite supports all common energy-efficient motor control strategies, including sinewave commutation and FOC, sensorless or with precise-position sensing. There is a selection of single-shunt and three-shunt current detection and support for PWM frequencies up to 156kHz. The firmware caters to all widespread motor types, including BLDC and PMSM; SRM and asynchronous AC motors are also supported.

Users can manage up to three independent motor channels with a single MCU, depending on the version chosen. The TXZ+4A Series, based on the Arm Cortex-M4 core, comprises the M4K and M4M Groups, which enable motor control even with low-cost 64-pin MCUs. Dedicated motor-control features offered on-chip include a hardware vector engine, high-resolution advanced encoder for servo motors, and self-diagnostics that simplify fulfilling functional-safety standards such as IEC 60730 class B.

The firmware suite delivers selectable functionality that allows users to quickly configure controls such as zero-current-point detection, initial motor-position detection, and commonly used stop controls, including rapid braking. Further functions comprise magnetic-field stall recovery, advanced rotor control with precise sensorless positioning, load-dependent speed reduction, and linear motion control with sensor-based precise positioning.

The companion PC-based motor-control tool enables users to quickly configure the PI controller, enter the parameters of their desired inverter board and motor, and start evaluating the solution. The tool graphically displays target and actual speed, current, temperature, torque, and DC-link voltage measurements and monitors error status, all in real time. Users can dynamically modify the motor, system, and control parameters and program tests to be executed automatically.

To help users kickstart their projects, Toshiba has worked with MikroElektronika to create the MIKROE Clicker 4 for the TMPM4K evaluation board and a companion 6V-48V inverter shield. Together, they provide a low-cost development-hardware platform suitable for controlling one motor channel. The evaluation board contains an M4K MCU and can be powered from a USB port, a battery, or the inverter board, which has its own switched-mode converter. The inverter allows one-shunt or three-shunt current measurement and has a flexible interface for the user’s preferred position sensing.


By Seb Springall