The latest brushless DC (BLDC) motors are more efficient, quieter and, with far less mechanical wear, the lifetime is as much as six times higher. However, driving BLDC correctly can remain a challenge, especially if trying to adopt a complex control algorithm. Fortunately, as motors proliferate, so too do the number of development tools – allowing prototypes to be developed and debugged rapidly.
There are many boards to simplify the integration of sensors, memories, and input controls available, such as those from MikroElektronika. Their Clicker 4 targets BLDC motor control, offering a low-cost yet versatile entry point for prototyping using their well-established mikroBUS interface.
Integral to the board is the TMPM4KNFYAFG microcontroller from Toshiba featuring a 32-bit Arm® Cortex®-M4 core with four peripherals that provide almost “set and forget” support for sensor-based and sensorless vector motor control.
The Advanced Vector Engine Plus (A-VE+) is a highly integrated vector control accelerator for axis and coordinate transformation, space vector modulation, and hardware proportional-integral (PI) control. Once configured, this peripheral can operate almost autonomously.
An Advanced Programmable Motor Control (A-PMD) simplifies control with an array of innovative pulse modulation options. It also provides safe operation with abnormal function detection capabilities.
The Advanced Encoder Input Circuit (A-ENC32) supports both Hall and incremental encoders for six modes of operation in sensor-controlled applications.
Finally, the 12-bit Analog to Digital Converter (ADC) supports current and voltage monitoring, autonomously triggering from the range of A-PMD module signals.
Additionally, the TMPM4KNFYAFG includes many typical microcontroller peripherals, as well as self-diagnostics to meet functional-safety standards such as IEC 60730 class B.
The board has four mikroBUS sockets with industry-standard pinning for functionality ranging from sensor inputs and wireless connectivity to rotary encoders and external memory. More than 400 boards support the standard, and more than 1300 Click boards are available.
Download Toshiba’s motor control whitepaper here: