Given the complexity of some of today's applications, a motor drive development kit makes sense, Jon. I'm curious whether all of the big electronics suppliers are coming out with similar kits these days.
Hi, Charles. Driving a brushless-DC (BLDC) motor takes a lot more than connecting it to power. Commutating the stationary coils requires algorithms that sense a motor's state and apply current accordingly. The processor manufacturers have chips that can handle the algorithms and some of them also have the power transistors used to drive the coils. When they provide a kit that includes all of the electronics and demonstration code and other software, they give engineers and product designers a good place to start. Most of the semiconductor manufacturers who have these capabilities do or will offer kits. People should first determine the type of motor they plan to use and then buy a kit that will let them experiment with that motor. Code supplied by processor vendors lets users start to experiment and "tune" algorithms quickly.
When working on a BLDC design it's very important that the software development kit disengage the FETs when breakpoints are hit and place some of the other hardware like PWMs in a safe state. TI does a great job of handling the important hardware aspects of a BLDC development kit.
Thanks, tekochip, for your comments about the FETs. That's an important point for designers to keep in mind. As people work with and modify the BLDC algorithms they should keep in mind how to leave the motor drivers in a "safe" state under conditions specific to their design.
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In a line of ultra-futuristic projects, DARPA is developing a brain microchip that will help heal the bodies and minds of soldiers. A final product is far off, but preliminary chips are already being tested.
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