Microcontrollers are more and more common in motor control applications and are replacing Application-Specific Standard Products (ASSP) and ASICs. Since microcontrollers feature embedded peripherals, they provide more flexibility and offer a better cost solution compared to other solutions.
- Compressors and fans in refrigerators
- Fans in cooker hoods
- Drums and pumps in washing machines
Atmel® AVR® microcontrollers are well suited for Motor Control applications.
Features and Benefits
- Flash memory provides flexibility that enables developers to use the same microcontroller for multiple applications and to easily upgrade the program during the application's lifetime.
- Code compatibility allows to port existing development to other Atmel AVR microcontrollers according to new application requirements, for faster time-to-market.
- The extended family of Atmel 8-bit AVR microcontrollers lets developers choose a perfect fit for a given application, while keeping costs under control.
- Dedicated peripherals such as high-end PWM modules and ADC are ideal for motor control applications.
- Numerous application notes, reference designs and development kits are available to customers for a seamless design and easier development.
Three-phase BLDC: On these motors, the brushes and commutator have been eliminated compared to a brushed DC motor. The control electronics replace the function of the commutator and energize the proper windings to create rotation. Three-phase BLDC devices provide excellent performance characteristics, with or without position sensors, are inexpensive, and long-lasting.
Two-phase BLDC: These devices are preferred over brushed motors because they provide long life time, low level of electrical noise and low acoustic noise level. They commonly use hall-sensors.
Asynchronous AC: Traditional AC motors run directly from AC voltage at one speed only. Introducing motor control enables speed variation, which can reduce power consumption, acoustic noise and mechanical vibration.
Stepper Motor: A stepper motor will rotate in discrete steps when its coils are energized. Position and rotating directions are easily controlled without the need for a feedback system. Speed is controlled by the rate at which coils are energized. Depending on the control type, full steps, half steps or micro-steps can be achieved. Atmel AVR microcontrollers provide an ideal solution for stepper motors.
Sensor-based Three-phase BLDC
Sensor-based three-phase BLDCs are used when initial load is unknown or varies, or when high initial torque is required. The Atmel AVR microcontroller is an excellent fit for this application, supporting TWI, SPI, and UART communication.
Sensorless Three-phase BLDC
Sensorless three-phase BLDCs are typically used in fans. The Atmel AVR microcontroller provides superior support for this device, and supports over-current monitoring with ADC or analog comparator.
Sensor-based Two-Phase BLDC
The Atmel AVR microcontroller is excellent for this application, providing support for TWI/SMBus communication. Two hardware PWM channels control driving transistors, and speed is controlled by varying the PWM duty cycle.
Relevant Application Notes with covered motors and functionality
Learn more about the Atmel solution Application Notes, Devices, and Tools and Software