Microchip’s Portfolio of Integrated Motor Drivers Grows With New Family

February 29, 2024 by Jake Hertz

The new systems introduce high levels of integration to reduce complexity and BOM count for motor circuitry.

Microchip recently announced a new family of motor drivers that integrate digital signal controllers (DSCs).


New dsPIC33 DSC-based integrated motor drivers

The new dsPIC33 DSC-based integrated motor drivers.

With these new devices, Microchip aims to address the costs and complexity that come with balancing the power management, sensing, computing, and underlying control algorithms associated with discrete motor control designs.


Microchip Expands Its Motor Driver Family

The new dsPIC33 DSC-based integrated motor drivers combine the processing power of digital signal processors (DSPs) with the functionality of microcontrollers (MCUs). These controllers are designed to meet the demands of high-performance motor control applications, such as in the automotive, industrial, and consumer electronics sectors.

Within a single dsPIC33 DSC, one can expect to find an integrated full-bridge MOSFET gate driver, a LIN or CAN/CAN FD transceiver, real-time processing blocks, and peripherals. Some other key specs of the dsPIC33 DSC include: 

  • 70 MHz–100 MHz operation
  • Up to 25 kB of flash memory
  • Advanced motor control PWMs
  • 12-bit ADCs
  • Fast op-amps
  • Comparators
  • 32-bit optical incremental encoder interface


Block diagram of the dsPIC DSC-based integrated motor drivers

Block diagram of the dsPIC DSC-based integrated motor drivers. 

The devices are AEC Q-100 Grade 0 certified and feature specialized peripherals for sensorless field-oriented control (FOC), micro-stepping, sensorless control, vector/field-oriented control, and dual-motor control with power factor correction. The dsPIC33 DSCs also support various motors, including brushed DC, brushless DC, stepper, permanent magnet synchronous motor (PMSM), and AC induction motor (ACIM). Microchip includes development support for the motor drivers with an ecosystem of tools, software, and resources.


Supportive Development Kits

Microchip has also released a development platform for DSC-based integrated motor controllers, known as the Motor Control Start Kit (MCSK). The platform centers around the MCS MCLV-48V-300W low-voltage motor control board, which is designed around the dsPIC33CK256MP508, specifically targeting low-voltage PMSM and BLDC motors. The board operates within a 12-V to 48-V input DC voltage range. It supports a nominal phase RMS current of 10 A at +25°C, making it useful for a wide range of industrial, automotive, and consumer applications.


MCS MCLV-48V-300W development board

MCS MCLV-48V-300W development board.

It incorporates advanced features such as high-resolution PWM (HRPWM), high-speed ADCs, and various communication interfaces (CAN-FD, SENT, UART, SPI, I2C) to enhance motor control efficiency and precision.

The board is equipped with current and voltage feedback mechanisms for implementing field-oriented control (FOC) and sensorless trapezoidal control. It also includes overcurrent and overvoltage protection features to ensure system reliability. Additional features include a Hall sensor interface, quadrature encoder interface (QEI), on-board temperature sensing for MOSFET monitoring, and optional external temperature sensor support.

The inclusion of two mikroBUS sockets extends its flexibility, allowing for easy integration of additional sensors and communication interfaces. User interface elements such as debug LEDs, a potentiometer, push buttons, and PWM indication LEDs simplify interaction and debugging. The board's comprehensive design and capabilities may help speed up the development and deployment of advanced motor control solutions.


Simplifying Motor Drive Design

Overall, Microchip hopes that its new DSC-based integrated motor drivers will help reduce component count, shrink PCB dimensions, and reduce complexity. By integrating so much functionality into one module and providing a supportive development platform around it, Microchip is offering designers an easier way to design robust motor drive solutions.