Engineers who must include a motor in a design, or upgrade a motor controller face many obstacles. They must know about power electronics, signal processing, closed-loop control, analog-measurement techniques, and so on. Texas Instruments now gives these engineers a head start in two ways. First, a new approach to software development, and second, a new motor-control development kit. Now the details:
1. The new controlSUITE software goes beyond the sometimes-indecipherable demo code included with many dev kits. Instead, the new approach includes libraries and examples that are complete open-source projects, so they offer solid foundations, frameworks, and complete applications for a task such as motor control. A new installer eliminates frustrations related to code versions and dependencies by giving developers access to the complete controlSUITE software in one place.
According to TI, developers can work at a comfortable level, all the way from complete and working applications, down to application, DSP, and math libraries and deeper down to APIs and bit-field manipulations. This approach also lets developers start with basic code that exercises I/O devices and then add portions of code to expand an application and let developers work with added power devices, for example, in a motor-control design. As of January 2010, TI has adopted the controlSUITE approach for the C2000 MCU family. Read more at: www.ti.com/controlsuite-pr. The controlSUITE software is free and available now.
2. TI’s new High Voltage Motor Control and PFC Developer’s Kit ((TMDSHVMTRPFCKIT, $US $599) is based on the controlSUITE software. The kit gives developers reference hardware and software they can duplicate or adapt as their needs demand as they create a motor-based design that can include digital power factor correction (PFC). The kit uses TI’s C2000 Piccolo MCUs. The controlSUITE software included with the kit provides step-by-step documentation for closed loop PFC software and detailed examples and labs that let users control brushless-DC (trapezoidal and sinusoidal drive), AC-induction or permanent magnet synchronous motors (with or without sensor feedback).
For more details about the High Voltage Digital Motor Control Kit, visit: www.ti.com/cs_hvmckit-tf-pr. And for a short video overview of the controlSUITE software, visit: www.ti.com/cs_controlsuitevideo-pr. (The TI Web site does not provide a link to a manual or User Guide for this kit, although that information might exist elsewhere. I suggest readers wait to investigate this kit’s capabilities and its “ease of use” before they purchase it. Feel free to post links to kit documentation as it becomes available. –Jon)
I recommend engineers interested in motor control also read, “Digital Motor Control Methodology for C2000 Real-Time Control Microcontrollers,” by Bilal Akin and Chris Clearman, Document SLMY001: focus.ti.com/lit/wp/slmy001/slmy001.pdf. –Jon Titus