ST, Toshiba, and Infineon Release Drivers for Manifold Motor Systems

April 29, 2024 by Jake Hertz

In this roundup, we highlight three motor driver solutions for niche yet important automotive systems, from blowers to seat belt pre-tensioners.

STMicroelectronics, Toshiba, and Infineon have each released new motor driver products to support electric mobility—a mainstay in the transportation industry. 


New driver technologies

The new driver technologies target various automotive systems: oil pumps, electric sunroofs, engine cooling fans, and beyond. 

This industry relies on reliable, powerful, and efficient motor systems, which encompass both advanced motor technology and motor-driving integrated circuits.


ST: DC Motor Pre-Driver

STMicroelectronics recently released its L99H92 automotive DC motor gate driver.

Engineered for driving four external N-channel MOSFET transistors in configurable automotive DC-motor applications, such as sunroofs and power trunk lift gates, the L99H92 driver (datasheet linked) supports dual independent half-bridge or single full-bridge configurations.

To support automotive applications, the L99H92 is qualified under AEC-Q100 and is rated for a power supply operating range from 4.51 V to 28 V, with its gate drivers becoming operational from a minimum of 5.41 V. It can maintain a 100% PWM duty cycle down to this voltage, thanks to a dual-stage charge pump that ensures the high and low sides of the MOSFETs receive a minimum gate-source voltage of 6.2 V at 5.5 V and 8.2 V at voltages above 8 V, with respective charge pump load currents of 5 mA and 10 mA.


Block diagram of the L99H92

Block diagram of the L99H92. Image used courtesy of STMicroelectronics

The device incorporates a programmable gate driving current up to 170 mA to control the output voltage slew rate and better manage electromagnetic interference (EMI). It also features integrated diagnostics and protection mechanisms, including overcurrent protection, drain-source voltage monitoring, thermal pre-warning, and shutdown capabilities.

Architecturally, the L99H92 includes two independent current sense amplifiers with low offset and thermal drift, suitable for high-side, in-line, and low-side current sensing. These amplifiers support programmable gains of 10x, 20x, 50x, and 100x.


Toshiba: Gate Driver IC 

Toshiba recently announced its new SmartMCD Series TB9M003FG gate driver IC.

The TB9M003FG (datasheet linked) comes equipped with an embedded microcontroller, integrating an Arm Cortex-M0 core. Operating at a frequency of 40 MHz, the microcontroller can rapidly process control algorithms essential in dynamic automotive environments where quick response times are critical. It also supports a wide range of communication protocols, including LIN and PWM.

One of the TB9M003FG's core strengths is its built-in vector engine, which facilitates sensorless control strategies, thus eliminating the need for mechanical sensors. This feature simplifies the system design and improves reliability by reducing the mechanical wear components. The vector engine supports various motor control functions, including fixed-point calculations and PI control of d-axis and q-axis currents.

A motor driving circuit using SmartMCD

A motor driving circuit using SmartMCD. Image used courtesy of Toshiba

With a supply voltage ranging from 6 V to 18 V and an operational temperature range of -40°C to 150°C, the TB9M003FG is robust enough to withstand the harsh environments typically found in automotive applications. Its package, a P-HTQFP48, measures just 9.0 mm × 9.0 mm, and the device is AEC-Q100 Grade 0 qualified. 


Infineon: Brushless DC Motor Driver

Infineon has also expanded its motor driver portfolio with the TLE9140EQW, designed for driving brushless DC motors targeting the 24/48-V market

One of the TLE9140EQW's (datasheet linked) key value propositions is its wide supply voltage range from 8.0 V to 72 V, which allows it to handle transient voltage spikes up to 100 V. This robust voltage-handling capability is complemented by a total gate charge driver capability of 290 nC at 20 kHz, which ensures efficient switching performance for high-frequency motor control applications.


Block diagram of the TLE9140EQW

Block diagram of the TLE9140EQW. Image used courtesy of Infineon

Infineon designed the TLE9140EQW's architecture to maximize operational efficiency and reliability. It features a 16-bit serial peripheral interface (SPI) for communication and detailed control and monitoring of the device's operation. The integrated charge pump supports a 100% duty cycle, which is crucial for continuous motor operation without performance degradation. The device includes a variety of protective measures such as undervoltage and overvoltage shutdown, overtemperature protection, and cross-current protection.  

The device is also engineered for minimal quiescent current draw, consuming only 26 µA in standby mode.