Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc. (TAEC) today launched a new group of microcontrollers (MCUs) that allow a single chip with a low pin count (32 to 64 pins) to control multiple motors in Field Oriented Control (FOC) methodology.
The M4K MCUs are the second product group in Toshiba’s TXZ family of high-speed, low power consumption microcontrollers that incorporate the ARM Cortex-M4F core with a co-processor for Toshiba’s original vector engine that handles FOC algorithms in parallel for high efficient, low noise, and dynamic torque response motor applications. The initial M3H group was announced in April 2016 for a wide range of white goods and industrial equipment applications.
The M4K products are suitable for motor control in home appliances, such as air-conditioners, and are based on the ARM Cortex-M4F, which incorporates a floating point processing unit. Previously, driving two motors, in FOC methodology, required a product1 with a 100-pin package. Now, the TXZ family products with 64-pin packages can control two motors because the analog-to-digital converter (ADC) for detecting motor positions is accelerated and realizes a 0.5-microsecond conversion speed.
“As regulations tighten and product miniaturization continues, demand is rising for low-pin-count MCUs that can efficiently control multiple motors. With our M4K group, appliance makers can simplify and shrink the size of the circuit boards used in their products,” said Deepak Mithani, senior director of the Mixed Signal Business Unit, System LSI Group at TAEC. “Toshiba will continue to enhance its portfolio for the growing motor control and sensing market.”
The new MCUs support the RAMScope interface, which can monitor parameters in real time, without stopping motors, by loading parameters relevant to motor control to the random-access memory (RAM). Also incorporated are a self-diagnostic function that monitors the reference voltage of the A/D converter, and a cyclic redundancy check (CRC) arithmetic circuit that detects incorrect detection for every read operation of the memory. Both contribute to load mitigation of the software process required for functional safety2.
Operating at up to 80Mhz, the devices are available in low-pin-count packages, ranging from 32 to 64 pins, and small Flash memory sizes (64KB to 128KB 3). Sample software uses built-in hardware resources, including the high-precision ADC with 0.5-microsecond conversion speed, Toshiba’s Advanced Vector Engine Plus (A-VE+), and Advanced Programmable Motor Driver (A-PMD). Together, these features ensure the new MK4 products realize efficient motor control while improving power consumption and system control.