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TI Introduces Breakthrough Motor Control Technology: InstaSPIN™-FOC Motor Control Solution With FAST™ Software Encoder Algorithm

HOUSTON, Feb. 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Motor control system designers can now concentrate on differentiating designs rather than spending weeks and months tuning their motor control systems.  With the new InstaSPIN™-FOC (field-oriented-control) solution from Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) (NASDAQ: TXN), designers can now identify, tune and fully control (through variable speeds and loads) any type of three-phase, synchronous or asynchronous motor in five minutes or less. This new technology removes the need for a mechanical motor rotor sensor to reduce system costs and improves operation using TI's new software encoder (sensorless observer) algorithm, FAST™ (flux, angle, speed and torque), embedded in the read-only-memory (ROM) on TI's 32-bit C2000™ Piccolo™ microcontrollers. InstaSPIN-FOC joins the previously introduced InstaSPIN-BLDC technology and will be followed with future InstaSPIN variations to make motor control development easier and more efficient. 

Improve motor system reliability and efficiency

Many industries have delayed the use and adoption of sensorless FOC motor techniques because of the lack of motor control system knowledge, despite the many system benefits these techniques provide. InstaSPIN-FOC eases development and reduces system cost and complexity for designers — even those with limited motor control experience — and enables premium solutions that improve motor efficiency, performance and reliability in all variable speed and load motor applications. In traditional FOC motor designs, the use of a rotor sensor can impact a system with increased costs (sensor, power supply, special cabling and connectors, installation and maintenance) and potentially lower reliability (performance degradation in harsh conditions, electrical noise, temperature and humidity). In addition, using a sensor in many applications, such as an enclosed compressor or a large traction machine, is also completely impractical.

Features and benefits of InstaSPIN-FOC™ technology:

  • Save months of design time with nearly fully automated identification and control tuning, allowing designers to differentiate their products with capabilities beyond full motor torque.
  • Near encoder performance with embedded on-chip FAST observer algorithm calculating a reliable and robust estimation of flux, angle, speed and torque across use conditions. Accurate, sensorless "estimator" performance eliminates the need for a physical encoder in most cases.
  • A ccommodate all three-phase motors, synchronous (BLDC, SPM and IPM) and asynchronous (ACI) with the same solution.
  • Identify and tune with off-line motor commissioning that identifies the needed electrical parameters of the motor, tunes the FAST algorithm, and initializes the current controllers for stable operation. An optional online resistance re-estimation mode which tracks changes for robust observer performance in the harshest use cases is also offered.
  • Eliminate start-up challenges of other sensorless techniques with built-in start-up modes and observer angle lock in less than one electrical cycle.
  • Slow speed performance with angle integrity preserved at steady state below 1 Hz (typical) with full torque, reversals through zero speed and stall conditions with smooth stall recovery.
  • Gain flexibility with the ability to implement a single function call FOC torque controller (supports up to two motors from the same ROM) or a completely custom control system with FAST as the motor sensor.
  • Allow most efficient motor sizing with built-in field control, providing manual or automated field-weakening (higher speeds) or manual field-boosting (higher torque) applications.
  • Gain massive energy savings for induction motors using the PowerWarp™ mode, eliminating energy waste during times when torque is not immediately required.
  • Develop easily and evaluate quickly using the new motor control library (modules, drivers, system examples, documentation) through MotorWare™, which offers latest in C object-oriented and API-based coding techniques. Conduct lab instrumentation through TI's free, new GUI Composer tool. 

Pricing and availability  

InstaSPIN-FOC is available today on the production-ready, 90 MHz, 32-bit floating point Piccolo F2806xF microcontrollers starting at $6.70 USD per 10 Ku.  InstaSPIN-FOC will be featured on several other Piccolo microcontrollers in the near future.  Designers can begin their latest InstaSPIN-FOC motor designs with a low-voltage, low-current motor control kit for $299 ( DRV8312-69M-KIT), low-voltage, high-current motor control kit for $299 ( DRV8301-69M-KIT) or high-voltage motor control kit for $699 ( TMDSHVMTRINSPIN). If designers have a previously purchased a TI motor control development kit, they can order the modular InstaSPIN™-FOC-enabled Piccolo controlCARD for $99 ( TMDSCNCD28069MISO).

Find out more about InstaSPIN-FOC  and TI motor control solutions:

TI's broad portfolio of microcontrollers (MCUs) and software

From general purpose, ultra-low power MSP microcontrollers, to Stellaris® Cortex™-M microcontrollers to real-time control C2000™ microcontrollers, and Hercules™ safety microcontrollers, TI offers the broadest range of microcontroller solutions. Designers can accelerate time to market by tapping into TI's complete software and hardware tools, extensive third-party offerings and technical support.

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