Houston, TX--If the efficiency of a 1-hp motor was improved by just one percent, the need for an entire 100-MW power plant would be eliminated. The technology that could enable this to happen: a digital signal processor (DSP).
Improving the efficiency and performance of motors are among the goals of a new line of DSPs that Texas Instruments recently announced.
Texas Instruments says that its four new DSPs will make electric motors more productive, quieter and energy efficient in applications ranging from home appliances to industrial automation systems. The devices are designed for digital control systems and power conversion and motion control systems, including inexpensive ac induction motors and dc brushless motors.
"One of the issues we looked at in designing the DSPs is how efficiently appliances run," explains Raj Chirayil, business manager for digital control systems, Texas Instruments. "Take a washing machine, for example. A lot of energy is wasted because we don't have an efficient way of running the motor."
Horizontal-axis washing machines are becoming more popular, and the switched reluctance motors installed in them as well as in other appliances can be advanced-controlled with the new DSP. The benefits include smoother operation, reduced system vibration and improved energy efficiency. Chirayil adds that most systems using the new DSPs operate at a minimum of 98% efficiency.
The new devices, which are an addition to the company's currently available 24x DSP controller products, differentiate themselves from other DSPs on the market in that motor control functions are optimized and integrated on a single chip. Features include on-chip flash memory, control area networking (CAN), as well as a set of peripherals. One result: smaller devices that can be used to produce lighter, smaller motor drives or power supplies.
The DSP controller devices are based on Texas Instruments DSP cores and on-chip peripherals which, the company says, provides flexibility and improve system price/performance ratio.
Chirayil says samples of the F241 and F243 will be available during the second quarter of 1998 while the C241 and C242 samples are scheduled for third quarter availability. Volume pricing for 100,000 units is expected to range from $10 to $12 for the F241 and F243 flash units to about $7 for the C241 and less than $5 for the C242 ROM versions.