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TI introduces breakthrough motor control technology: InstaSPIN™-FOC motor control solution with FAST™ software encoder algorithm

Identify, tune and fully control your motor in less than 5 minutes and eliminate the need for a mechanical rotor sensor. Available on C2000™ Piccolo™ microcontrollers today!

HOUSTON, Feb. 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Motor control system designers can now concentrate on differentiating designs rather than spending weeks and months tuning their motor control systems.  With the new InstaSPIN™-FOC (field-oriented-control) solution from Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) (NASDAQ: TXN), designers can now identify, tune and fully control (through variable speeds and loads) any type of three-phase, synchronous or asynchronous motor in five minutes or less. This new technology removes the need for a mechanical motor rotor sensor to reduce system costs and improves operation using TI's new software encoder (sensorless observer) algorithm, FAST™ (flux, angle, speed and torque), embedded in the read-only-memory (ROM) on TI's 32-bit C2000™ Piccolo™ microcontrollers. InstaSPIN-FOC joins the previously introduced InstaSPIN-BLDC technology and will be followed with future InstaSPIN variations to make motor control development easier and more efficient. 

Improve motor system reliability and efficiency

Many industries have delayed the use and adoption of sensorless FOC motor techniques because of the lack of motor control system knowledge, despite the many system benefits these techniques provide. InstaSPIN-FOC eases development and reduces system cost and complexity for designers — even those with limited motor control experience — and enables premium solutions that improve motor efficiency, performance and reliability in all variable speed and load motor applications. In traditional FOC motor designs, the use of a rotor sensor can impact a system with increased costs (sensor, power supply, special cabling and connectors, installation and maintenance) and potentially lower reliability (performance degradation in harsh conditions, electrical noise, temperature and humidity). In addition, using a sensor in many applications, such as an enclosed compressor or a large traction machine, is also completely impractical.

Features and benefits of InstaSPIN-FOC™ technology:

  • Save months of design time with nearly fully automated identification and control tuning, allowing designers to differentiate their products with capabilities beyond full motor torque.
  • Near encoder performance with embedded on-chip FAST observer algorithm calculating a reliable and robust estimation of flux, angle, speed and torque across use conditions. Accurate, sensorless "estimator" performance eliminates the need for a physical encoder in most cases.
  • Accommodate all three-phase motors, synchronous (BLDC, SPM and IPM) and asynchronous (ACI) with the same solution.
  • Identify and tune with off-line motor commissioning that identifies the needed electrical parameters of the motor, tunes the FAST algorithm, and initializes the current controllers for stable operation. An optional online resistance re-estimation mode which tracks changes for robust observer performance in the harshest use cases is also offered.
  • Eliminate start-up challenges of other sensorless techniques with built-in start-up modes and observer angle lock in less than one electrical cycle.
  • Slow speed performance with angle integrity preserved at steady state below 1 Hz (typical) with full torque, reversals through zero speed and stall conditions with smooth stall recovery.
  • Gain flexibility with the ability to implement a single function call FOC torque controller (supports up to two motors from the same ROM) or a completely custom control system with FAST as the motor sensor.
  • Allow most efficient motor sizing with built-in field control, providing manual or automated field-weakening (higher speeds) or manual field-boosting (higher torque) applications.
  • Gain massive energy savings for induction motors using the PowerWarp™ mode, eliminating energy waste during times when torque is not immediately required.
  • Develop easily and evaluate quickly using the new motor control library (modules, drivers, system examples, documentation) through MotorWare, which offers latest in C object-oriented and API-based coding techniques. Conduct lab instrumentation through TI's free, new GUI Composer tool. 

Pricing and availability  

InstaSPIN-FOC is available today on the production-ready, 90 MHz, 32-bit floating point Piccolo F2806xF microcontrollers starting at $6.70 USD per 10 Ku.  InstaSPIN-FOC will be featured on several other Piccolo microcontrollers in the near future.  Designers can begin their latest InstaSPIN-FOC motor designs with a low-voltage, low-current motor control kit for $299 (DRV8312-69M-KIT), low-voltage, high-current motor control kit for $299 (DRV8301-69M-KIT) or high-voltage motor control kit for $699 (TMDSHVMTRINSPIN). If designers have a previously purchased a TI motor control development kit, they can order the modular InstaSPIN™-FOC-enabled Piccolo controlCARD for $99 (TMDSCNCD28069MISO).

Find out more about InstaSPIN-FOC and TI motor control solutions:

TI's broad portfolio of microcontrollers (MCUs) and software

From general purpose, ultra-low power MSP microcontrollers, to Stellaris® Cortex™-M microcontrollers to real-time control C2000™ microcontrollers, and Hercules™ safety microcontrollers, TI offers the broadest range of microcontroller solutions. Designers can accelerate time to market by tapping into TI's complete software and hardware tools, extensive third-party offerings and technical support.

About Texas Instruments

Texas Instruments semiconductor innovations help 90,000 customers unlock the possibilities of the world as it could be – smarter, safer, greener, healthier and more fun.  Our commitment to building a better future is ingrained in everything we do – from the responsible manufacturing of our semiconductors, to caring for our employees, to giving back inside our communities.  This is just the beginning of our story.  Learn more at www.ti.com.


InstaSPIN, C2000, Piccolo, MSP and MotorWare are trademarks and Stellaris is a registered trademark of Texas Instruments Incorporated.  All registered trademarks and other trademarks belong to their respective owners.

Hear it from our customers!  Read their feedback on InstaSPIN™-FOC:

Contronics develops techniques and manufactures equipment that contribute to a better planet.  They are very successful with efficient misting systems for supermarkets to keep food fresh for twice as long and use 80 percent less energy.  Contronics has also supplied ventilation fan controllers for a number of years and are pleased to release a new product that will change their industry:  CoMoCo Intelligent Motor Control.  View the video.

"The CoMoCo is the smartest electrical drive for fans in the world, and it is powered by TI's Piccolo microcontrollers and InstaSPIN-FOC technology. The built-in PowerWarp™ mode reduces current consumption to the bare minimum required at all times, enabling a 280W fan to consume less than 10W,while maintaining the same speed and commanded airflow.  In our 14-month field trial, this resulted in overall energy savings of 80 percent versus triac controls and 50 percent versus InstaSPIN-FOC with PowerWarp disabled. Due to the high-precision speed and torque signals from the FAST™ encoder, we have turned the fan itself into a speed and flow sensor. This actually improves dynamic capability, eliminates costly hardware and simplifies installation." ― Frank Bakker, managing director, Contronics

Royal Dutch Gazelle is one of the oldest and most respected bicycle manufacturers in the world.  In their home country of Holland, bicycles are not just a means of exercise or recreation but a way of life.  Electrically assisted bicycles already make up 20 percent of their consumer sales as they look to extend their range and enable easier mobility throughout their country and the world. View the video.

"The TI Piccolo microcontroller-based InstaSPIN™-FOC solution gives us extremely robust, low-speed, high-torque performance that enables us to use quieter and smaller direct-drive motors without the cost or lowered reliability of a solution with a mechanical rotor sensor.  The motor identification and auto tuning allows us to rapidly test new motors, and more importantly, to have a motor-drive system that just works.  This allows our engineers to focus their efforts on innovation, such as additional rider enhancements possible with the unique, extremely high-resolution speed and torque signals from the FAST™ software encoder." Erwin Van Norel, electronic innovation manager, Royal Dutch Gazelle

e-Traction specializes in electric road mobility, providing electric motor and drive solutions for a variety of specialized vehicles, such as busses, refuse trucks and passenger cars with a goal to increase efficiency of electric drivetrains in order to reduce CO2 emissions, noise levels, pollution and the dependence on fossil fuels. View the video.

"A world of vehicular electrification is enabled through TI's Piccolo microcontroller with InstaSPIN™-FOC and the FAST™ software encoder, which provides a single, sensorless solution that works across any motor type, power range and variable speed and load conditions.  We use the same software solution for high voltage but varying current asynchronous pumps, compressors and starter generators.  And we have just removed the mechanical rotor sensors on our synchronous in-hub motors for passenger vehicles and busses, eliminating a major source of development challenges while increasing safety and reliability. Because the torque control from InstaSPIN-FOC works so well, we can focus our efforts on system communications and diagnostics, product enhancements and new inventions that make the world a cleaner and greener place to live."Geert Kwintenberg, department manager, electronics and software engineering, e-Traction


SOURCE Texas Instruments

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