A New Programmable IC Opens Doors for Customizing Motor Drive Applications

June 15, 2020 by Gary Elinoff

What happens when you combine both configurable logic and configurable analog with high-voltage outputs?

With specific applications come specific design needs. Dialog Semiconductor has designed a method for designers to configure their own ICs—a possibility now extended to motor drive applications.

The company has released a new configurable mixed-signal IC (CMIC) that is aimed at 12-volt motor applications. The SLG47105 offers configurable analog with high-voltage outputs and configurable logic encapsulated in a 2 mm x 3 mm QFN package. 



The SLG7105. Image (modified) used courtesy of Dialog Semiconductor


The SLG47105 is part of Dialog Semiconductor's GreenPAK product family, which features a one-time non-volatile memory (NVM) programmability option. This empowers designers to incorporate digital and analog system functions in a single IC, which may minimize the BoM and conserve both board space and power consumption.

The SLG47105 can drive two brushed DC motors, a single stepper motor, solenoid, or any other load operating at up 13.2 V and requiring up to 1.5 A RMS per output. The unit’s configurable analog and digital resources allow designers to devise customized motor control and protection arrangements appropriate to specific design needs.


The GreenPAK Designer Software Package

GreenPAK designer software is used to configure, optimize, simulate, and test GreenPAK designs. In its latest version, it can also simulate external components, ranging from passives to motors, further shortening development time for engineers and simplifying the overall design process.

The first step in customizing a GreenPAK mixed-signal IC is to insert the tiny SLG47105 into the GreenPAK development kit, as illustrated in the leftmost portion of the image below. 


GreenPAK Designer Software and a GreenPAK dev kit.

Dialog' says that designers can build a custom IC in four steps with GreenPAK Designer Software and a GreenPAK dev kit. Image used courtesy of Dialog Semiconductor


GreenPAK mixed-signal ICs and GreenPAK designer software allow designers to design and program new ICs. Critical OEM product features can be changed without modifying existing PCBs, even after the product is in the field.

The read-back of NVM programming can be disabled after design completion. This will make it exceedingly difficult for unauthorized outsiders to gain access to details of your system’s design, providing substantial protection against IP theft.


Specifics of the New Motor Drive CMIC

The SLG4715 includes four high-voltage, current drive GPOs featuring low RDS(on) and two 8-bit PWM macrocells with built-in 16-byte register files. There are also 2.048 kHz and 25 MHz oscillators. The device includes twelve combination function macrocells.


Block diagram of SLG47105

Block diagram of the SLG4715. Image used courtesy of Dialog Semiconductor


Built-in protections include under-voltage lockout, overcurrent protection, and thermal shutdown. The device operates over a -40°C to 85°C temperature range. It is also RoHS compliant and halogen-free. 


HVPAK Demo Board

The HVPAK demo board includes onboard stepper motors, brushed DC motors, LED drivers, and a socket to accept an SLG4715.


HVPAK demo board with SLG47105.

HVPAK demo board with SLG47105. Image (modified) courtesy of Dialog Semiconductor


Presumably, designers will program and test the functionality of the SLG47105 with this demo board.


The Possibilities of CMICs for Motor Drive Applications 

Dialog Semiconductor says this new CMIC can simplify the design process for a number of motor drive applications, including smart locks and valves, ATMs, robotics, POS printers, cameras, toys, and robotics. It may also find use in personal computers and servers, office equipment, personal medical care devices, and MOSFET drivers.

As a designer, do you think programmable analog functions in a chip will be a game-changer? Please share your comments below.