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.
Using wireless chips and accessories, engineers can now extract data from the unlikeliest of places -- pumps, motors, bridges, conveyors, refineries, cooling towers, parking garages, down-hole drills and just about anything else that can benefit from monitoring.
With strong marketplace demand for qualified engineers across the board that currently outstrips the available supply, there may never be a better time for engineers and project managers to advance their careers and salaries. Whether those moves are successful in the short-term and long-term is likely to depend on how the transition from one job to the next is handled.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.