Microchip Debuts New Family of PIC Microcontrollers for Motor Control

1/5/2004 - Microchip Technology Inc., a leading provider of microcontroller and analog semiconductors, announced a family of 8-bit Flash microcontrollers with new advanced motor control peripherals that deliver better efficiency, quieter operation, greater range and extend the life of motors in automotive, industrial, appliance and consumer applications. This new PICmicro? family meets the needs for flexibility and integrated intelligence required in today’s cutting-edge electronic power and motor control systems.

Manufacturers are under increasing pressure, due to stringent worldwide environmental regulations, to increase energy efficiency across a broad range of motor-driven products. Microchip’s 40-pin PIC18F4331/4431 and 28-pin PIC18F2331/2431 microcontrollers (MCUs) provide a complete solution for extremely precise and energy-efficient operation in sophisticated motor control applications through advanced analog and digital feedback, and the new three-phase complimentary Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) control system.

Key to the performance and flexibility of the PIC18Fxx31 family are three new modules specifically designed for advanced motion and power control applications. The power control module has a three-phase PWM structure; the motion feedback module includes a quadrature encoder interface; the third module consists of a high-speed Analog to Digital Converter (ADC), which operates at 200ksps and can be synchronized with the PWM. Together, these modules eliminate the need for any external motor control components, such as a high-speed converter and a resonator, thereby providing a lower-cost solution and saving board space.

“There is a growing trend toward electronic motor control because it provides unprecedented levels of reduced energy consumption in motor-driven products,” said Ganesh Moorthy vice president of Microchip Technology’s Advanced Microcontroller and Automotive Division. “The PIC18Fxx31 family of motor control MCUs provides engineers with a complete, cost-effective system solution for advanced motor control designs requiring more energy efficiency as well as quieter and more reliable operation.”

Other significant features of the PIC18Fxx31 devices include: up to eight PWM channels with 14-bit resolution, center alignment, programmable dead-time and two external fault-protection inputs; two Capture/Compare/PWM modules; an Internal RC Oscillator with eight selectable frequencies ranging from 8MHz to 31.25KHz; four general-purpose Timers; a Clock Monitor for fail-safe operation; an Enhanced USART supporting RS485, RS232 and the LIN protocol; 256 Bytes of on-board, high-endurance data EEPROM; up to 10 MIPS performance at 40MHz; a 16-level Programmable Low Voltage Detection module; and nanoWatt Technology features that provide enhanced power-management capabilities.

With all of these features and design enhancements, the PIC18Fxx31 family is an ideal solution for advanced power control and motor control applications in markets like: Automotive (stability control, climate control, fuel and oil pumps, electronic power steering and throttle control); Appliance (dishwashers, refrigerators, washing machines and ventilation fans); Industrial (robotics, material handling, HVAC, vending machines); and Consumer (whirlpool tubs, toasters/grills, bathroom fans).

Tools and Availability
The PIC18F4331/4431 and PIC18F2331/2431 MCUs are supported by Microchip’s world-class development tools. On the software side, there’s the no-cost MPLAB® IDE (Integrated Development Environment). Programming tools include the PRO MATE® II full-featured, modular device programmer; the MPLAB ICD 2 (In-Circuit Debugger/Programmer); and the MPLAB ICE 2000/4000 (In-Circuit Emulator) for full-speed emulation. The PICDEMTM MC Motor Control Development Board (part# DM183011), featuring a graphical user interface, is the latest addition to this powerful set of tools.

The PIC18F4331/4431 devices are available in 40-pin DIP, and 44-pin TQFP and QFN packages. The PIC18F2331/2431 parts are offered in 28-pin SDIP, SOIC and QFN packages. General samples and volume production for all four MCUs are available now. For additional information or pricing, contact any Microchip sales representative or authorized worldwide distributor, or visit Microchip’s Motor Control Design Center at www.microchip.com/motor.

Microchip’s Complete Motor Control Design Solutions
Microchip offers a broad product portfolio that provides a complete system solution for brushed DC motor, variable-speed brushless DC motor, AC induction motor, switched reluctance motor, and stepper motor applications. With our sophisticated development systems and technical documentation, Microchip makes it easy for designers of all experience levels to complete a high-performance electronic motor control design quickly and cost effectively.

Microchip Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: MCHP) is a leading provider of microcontroller and analog semiconductors, providing low-risk product development, lower total system cost and faster time to market for thousands of diverse customer applications worldwide. Headquartered in Chandler, Arizona, Microchip offers outstanding technical support along with dependable delivery and quality. For more information, visit the Microchip website at www.microchip.com.

The Microchip name and logo, PIC, PICmicro, MPLAB and PRO MATE are registered trademarks of Microchip Technology Inc. in the USA and other countries. PICDEM is a trademark of Microchip Technology Inc. in the USA and other countries.

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