STMicroelectronics Motor Control Development Kit

STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM) recently introduced a complete three-phase motor-control development kit based on the STM32 Flash microcontroller. The kit provides all the necessary hardware and firmware to enable users to evaluate this 32-bit solution, and to begin development of their own sensorless motor-control application. The STM32 uses the ARM® Cortex(tm)-M3 core, which was developed specifically to address the requirements of cost-sensitive home-appliance and industrial applications that need high MCU performance with exceptional energy efficiency. The STM3210B-MCKIT is available now, priced at $1129 including a 24V DC PMSM. An AC induction motor for use with the kit can be ordered separately.

The hardware platform can be used for both PMSM and AC induction motors, operating at up to 48V; schematics are provided to minimize hardware design time. The kit allows real-time control and monitoring via an on-board color LCD and joystick, or standalone operation using on-board push buttons and trimmers. The Segger J-Link USB-powered JTAG emulator is included, and the Flash programming and real-time debugging capability allows the same hardware and firmware platform to be used from evaluation through to an advanced stage of development, removing the need for the user to build a platform before starting work on the target system. A debugger and programmer are also included.

Vector-control (or ‘field-oriented’) algorithms are widely used in high-performance drives, to provide precise and responsive speed control, and to guarantee optimized efficiency during transient operations. They also have the practical advantage of using the same framework to control both asynchronous and synchronous motors, a cost-saving feature for development teams dealing with a variety of applications and motor types. In addition, most sensorless drive algorithms are based on field-orientation methodology, leading to further opportunities to reduce the drive cost.

The easy-to-use kit enables engineers to run the included PMSM motor within minutes. Then, through the graphical display, users can familiarize themselves with all the sensorless controls (such as PID regulators) by re-tuning them during run-time, using the joystick and LCD. Finally, users can start developing their own applications, starting from the optimized C firmware libraries that have been used to build the demo application. The C library source code is provided on the supplied CD-ROM, with the exception of the sensorless algorithm, which is delivered as object code free upon request from ST, for both types of three-phase brushless motors (AC induction in sensor mode, and PMSM in sensor and sensorless modes). By using the industry-standard ARM architecture, the STM32 allows users to save time compared with developing their motor-control solution on a proprietary architecture.

More info: STMicroelectronics