TI's TMS320C24x Controllers Enable Quieter Ariston's Washing Machines

5/25/2004 - Ariston, one of the leading brands of Merloni Elettrodomestici (MERI.MI), and Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) (NYSE:TXN) announced that TI's digital signal processing (DSP) based TMS320C24x controllers are enabling sophisticated motor control for reduced noise levels and improved washing efficiency in Ariston's Super Silent line of washing machines. Using TI's low-power controllers, leading white goods manufacturer Merloni Elettrodomestici has implemented a more efficient three-phase alternating current (AC) motor with Field Oriented Control (FOC) in its designs.

Some washing machine system designs employ universal motors which, while only requiring simple control algorithms and hardware, are noisier, bulkier and characterized by poor dynamic performances. Three-phase motors controlled by FOC, on the other hand, are smaller, run more quietly and offer higher efficiency through algorithm-based speed and torque control based on the machine's load. TI's C24xTM DSP core and microcontroller-like integrated peripherals enable the more computationally extensive FOC control needed for three-phase motors without increasing overall system costs. The substantial reduction in washing machine noise is made possible by combining the highly efficient three-phase motor with a suspension system designed to absorb impacts with special sound-resistant materials, resulting in a noise level reduction of about ten decibels and a simultaneous increase in washing efficiency of 30%. Merloni Elettrodomestici is currently applying this technology to a growing number of washing machines in a wide price range.

"Our commitment to innovating with TI DSP based technology aims to create a better experience for our clients: the Ariston super silent washing machine is an example of a real benefit for consumers" said Adriano Mencarini, electronic development director, Merloni Elettrodomestici. "Continuous co-operation with leading companies like TI gives us more opportunities to be at the fore-front of innovation."

Merloni Elettrodomestici's solution in based on TI's TMS320LF2401A digital signal controller, which is a low cost 16-bit, 40 MIPS fixed-point DSP-based controller featuring an integrated single-cycle multiplier, seven pulse width modulation (PWM) variable frequency and dead-time ports, five ultra-rapid 10-bit analog to digital converters (ADCs), an impulse capture circuit with a 16-bit timer and asynchronous serial communication. Integrated Flash memory allows re-programmability during the development phase and in the field, which satisfies low cost constraints and speeds time to market. A low cost, pin compatible ROM version designed specifically for appliance applications is also available.

"We are delighted that a leading white goods manufacturer has chosen a TI digital control solution to significantly improve user benefits on its machines," said Emmanuel Sambuis, C2000 business development manager, TI. "This is another example of how TI DSP- based technology is driving innovation and greater ease of use in everyday household appliances." The TMS320C24x generation of digital signal controllers offers 20 to 40 MIPS of DSP performance along with microcontroller (MCU) ease of use and on-chip peripherals, ideal for implementing sophisticated control algorithms in cost- and space-sensitive applications.

Along with the reduction in noise and increase in efficiency, users will also experience a reduction in operating costs due to the inherent efficiency of the AC motor combined with the flexibility to run more complicated field-oriented based algorithms, allowing for better motor optimization with various loads.

TI TMS320C2000TM digital signal controllers make control easy
TI has developed the most comprehensive line of control solutions available by providing the industry with the highest performance and most code-efficient controllers. The C2000 platform of digital signal controllers sets the standard for performance with up to 150 MIPS of DSP performance and microcontroller peripheral integration of flash memory, ultra-fast analog to digital converters (ADC) and robust CAN modules. With TIs powerful and cost-effective C2000 controller platform, designers now have the tools to advance their innovations and reduce time to market as well as system costs.

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