Field-oriented motor control in FPGA, takes resolver inputs

January 03, 2017 // By Graham Prophet
FPGA and mixed-signal silicon vendor Microsemi recently announced expansion of its FPGA-based deterministic multi-axis motor control solution, adding two intellectual property (IP) blocks, a resolver interface and a sinc3 filter, both to support designs using resolver sensors.

These additions, the company said, develop its complete motor control solution for both sensor and sensorless field oriented control applications. In th same announcement, there was also an IP reference design for brushless DC (BLDC) motors making use of the resolver interface.

The motor control solution is a development environment comprising a fully-modular IP suite, hardware kit and graphical user interface (GUI) for simplified development and debugging Microsemi's newly added IP targets motor control applications using a resolver sensor to find the position and speed of a rotor, enabling easier designs. Resolvers are commonly used in harsh or rugged environments such as extreme temperatures, oil and dirt and are also preferred in space applications because of their tolerance of high-radiation environments (as compared to other sensors such as optical encoders). Microsemi, thorough its acquisition some years ago of Actel, has an established product offering in radiation-tolerant FPGAs.

The FPGA-based multi-axis motor control solution now supports various motor types and control algorithms, including BLDC (sensorless, resolver, encoder and Hall sensor) and stepper motors. Along with high performance, reliability, security (secure communication, design security and hardware security) and low power, the solution can also enable integration of other functions such as industrial communication, human machine interface (HMI) and sensor interface required for modern drives and industrial control systems.

This amounts, according to a spokesman, to a, “complete solution for designing robotics, medical, 3-D printing, aerospace and defence applications requiring the most deterministic motor control solution, [using] FPGAs combined with our new IP [to] deliver unique capabilities. Designers have a distinct advantage in deterministic, high-precision control systems. Our solution offers many advantages over traditional DSP and MCU-based solutions, including deterministic response, mixed motor control, better performance with multiple motor controls and a high level of integration.”