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A motor driver designed for 21st century automotive needs

A motor driver designed for 21st century automotive needs

It seems that barely anything in the vehicle is mechanical anymore. Window lifters, the sun roof, even sliding doors and tailgates are being electrified, providing further comfort for vehicle owners. With the automotive industry gradually moving towards electric drivetrains and away from combustion engines, it seems that the trend to electrify comfort features will continue so that the futuristic aura of the vehicle can be maintained.

Toshiba has been supplying semiconductor products into the automotive industry since the mid-1970s, allowing us to follow the trends and expectations, tightening tolerances and requirements, and high demands on quality. Early devices were built on bipolar technology to implement wipers, meter clusters, flashers and door modules. The challenges of heat and vibration were also overcome with the introduction of Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI) systems. During the 1980s BiCMOS technology become more prevalent, enabling 5 V regulators, relay drivers and anti-lock braking systems. The past decades have seen a move to BiCD silicon processes, providing automotive engineers with a continuous flow of solutions and devices that continue to meet their strict demands.

Motor control remains a key automotive application, with both brushed DC and brushless DC (BLDC) motors being employed throughout the vehicle. Applications range from the low-powered, in vent flaps for the air conditioning system and electric mirrors, to power solutions moving and lifting doors. Although there are many highly integrated solutions on the market that embed a microcontroller together with MOSFET drivers and the power stage, this can limit a design engineers flexibility. Software often already exists for the chosen microcontroller (MCU) and complex standards and safety requirements demand specific MCU solutions that fulfil ISO 26262.

The TB9111FTG is a 3-in-1 package (SiP) solution that integrates both an N- and P-channel FET next to a highly capable controller chip. This approach allows engineers to retain their preferred MCU solution and existing base of software, merely exchanging the power stage to a solution that better meets their needs. The controller chip is configurable and provides a wide array of diagnostics, allowing the MCU to understand the state of the system. Both high-side and low-side drivers are incorporated along with current detection in both sides too. The two MOSFETs also include integrated diodes for temperature monitoring that are linked to the controller chip, providing an accurate temperature assessment with minimal thermal lag.

Capable of driving current of up to 50 A, the in-built overcurrent detection triggers at 76 A with a filter time of 2 µs. The temperature monitoring allows operation up to 195°C in the FETs (170°C in the controller) and releases the thermal shutdown when the temperature drops back below 170°C (155°C in the controller). If required, the temperature of the FETs can also be directly monitored by the MCU via two dedicated pins.

Should you be looking for a new automotive capable motor control solution, you can review our white paper on this topic here:

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