Yvonne Lin, Microsemi Corporation
12/10/2010 12:17 PM EST
Motion control systems (and by extension, motor control methods) are becoming more complex as they address ever escalating market needs. Increasing demands for energy efficiency, increased functionality, reduced size, and higher levels of integration push designers to look for more innovative solutions.
Until now, the available solutions involved control algorithms implemented in digital signal processors or microcontrollers. However, to achieve the response time required for complex motor control algorithms such as field-oriented control, hardware acceleration is often required.
In addition, analog circuitry is needed to read sensors, determine position and speed, check for faults, monitor temperature, etc., plus digital connections are required to interface with the rest of the system. The resulting collection of discrete devices delivered a solution that fell short in reliability, integration, and cost.
What has eluded the designer until now has been a single-chip solution that can address all of these needs; that is, until the introduction of SmartFusion mixed signal FPGAs. Microsemi’s SmartFusion device combines the three elements required by designers of next-generation motion control systems – a high-performance microcontroller, dense FPGA fabric, and programmable analog – all in a single package, allowing designers to achieve both high levels of integration and low cost.
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