Motor development kit combines hardware, software, and power modules

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ON Semiconductor has introduced its advanced motor development kit, targeting the development of energy efficient motor control solutions for applications ranging from less than 1 kW to over 10 kW.

A key challenge in electric motors is improving their energy efficiency. According to ON Semiconductor, electric motors account for over half of all the power generated and consumed by industrialized countries and the majority of those motors are AC induction motors, which have an average efficiency of just 44%.

The out-of-the box Motor Development Kit (MDK) for evaluating variable speed motor inverter solutions includes a number of power evaluation boards connected to a universal controller board (UCB). The power boards feature different variants of ON Semiconductor’s inverter solutions for motor drive, from high-voltage integrated modules to low-voltage discrete MOSFETs.

The UCB is a common control platform that interfaces with any power board to enable engineers to evaluate alternative motor control techniques for various types of motors and at a variety of power levels, said ON Semiconductor. The UCB is based on the Zynq-7000 SoC family from Xilinx, Inc. This device integrates two ARM Cortex-A9 processor cores with an FPGA fabric. The board also features a 10-channel differential ADC, 12 PWM channels, and a number of configurable digital peripherals. Communication ports include USB, JTAG and UART, as well as a Gigabit Ethernet PHY.

Software development support comes from the Xilinx Vivado Design Suite for High-Level Synthesis. The UCB can also be programmed using Python, through Xilinx’s open source project, PYNQ.

The MDK currently supports two motor power boards: the SECO-1KW-MCTRL-GEVB, which is suitable for driving motors up to 1 kW, and the SECO-MDK-4KW-65SMP31-GEVB, for driving motors up to 4 kW. Both power boards use ON Semiconductor’s intelligent power modules (IPM) technology and will be available in Q4 2020.

An additional motor power board will be released in Q1 2021, based on ON Semiconductor’s transfer molded power integrated modules (TMPIM) technology, designed to drive motors up to 10 kW. The company plans to expand the MDK ecosystem with additional power boards and expanded design support.

Earlier this year, ON Semiconductor expanded its industrial motor drive family with new PIM and TMPIM devices.

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