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issue: December 2004 APPLIANCE Magazine

Technology Report
Digital Control ICs

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Two digital control ICs from International Rectifier are said to revolutionize the task of configuring motion control algorithms for different types of permanent magnet or a.c. induction motors and their position feedback devices.

Two digital control IC solutions from International Rectifier feature a unique Motion Control Engine™ (MCE) that is said to eliminate the need for programming for motor control. The MCE consists of control elements necessary to perform closed-loop controls, motion hardware peripherals, and flow control logic, which enable parallel multi-loop control.

Both devices have a wide range of features that are said to provide appliances with low loss, less noise, speed control, and high efficiency. Applications for the IRMCK201 include high-end electric sewing machines for commercial use and computer numerically controlled (CNC) machines. The IRMCK203 can be used in such applications as air-conditioners, major appliances, and medical devices such as electric dental drills. “Unlike traditional motor drive control units that rely on complex digital signal processors (DSPs) or microprocessor control units (MCUs), the IRMCK201 and IRMCK203 contain a unique Motion Control Engine™, which eliminates software programming,” says Toshio Takahashi, director of Engineering, System Architecture, R&D Group for International Rectifier (El Segundo, CA, U.S.).

The IRMCK201 is a complete a.c. servo motor control IC that features an encoder-feedback-based, closed-loop current and velocity control. It allows users to configure hard-coded control algorithms for different types of permanent magnet or a.c. induction motors and the associated position feedback devices for specific applications.

The IRMCK203 facilitates the design of ultra-high-speed (100,000 rpm) and wide-speed-range (>20:1) applications with sensor-less control. The device is said to be ideal for sinusoidal current control, combining low-loss pulse width modulation (PWM), which minimizes torque ripple and increases motor efficiency. It also allows users to configure hard-coded control algorithms for different types of a.c. permanent magnet motors. Users can evaluate sensor-less drives with a specific motor and tailor the design to a particular application.

The ICs include a fast, serial peripheral interface (SPI) port for connecting master/slave low-to-medium bandwidth external devices using two data lines and two control lines. Both support asynchronous communication standards RS-232, RS-422, and RS-485. According to Mr. Takahashi, both digital ICs allow designers to cost-effectively manage product enhancements for product revisions and improve time-to-market. A hardware development program and support tools are also available for designing applications.

Suppliers mentioned in this article:
International Rectifier

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