Infineon launches ARM®-based embedded power family for smart motor control in automotive applications; samples available

Infineon-1

Infineon Technologies AG  has announced an ARM®-based Embedded Power family of bridge drivers offering an unmatched level of integration to address the growing trend towards intelligent motor control for a wide range of automotive applications. As an industry first Infineon integrates on one single chip a high-performance microcontroller using the ARM® Cortex™-M3 processor, as well as the nonvolatile memory, the analog and mixed signal peripherals, the communication interfaces along with the MOSFET gate drivers. Thus, the Infineon Embedded Power family offers 32-bit performance in an application space that it is typically associated with 16-bit. Sample quantities of the first members of the Embedded Power family are available for the TLE987x series for 3-phase (Brushless DC) motors and the TLE986x series for 2-phase (DC) motors.

Infineon combined its proprietary automotive qualified 130nm Smart Power manufacturing technology with its vast experience in motor control drivers into the new, highly integrated Embedded Power family, available in a standard QFN package of only 7mm x 7mm in dimension. Where previous multi-chip designs needed a standalone microcontroller, a bridge driver and a LIN (Local Interconnect Network) transceiver, automotive system suppliers now benefit from motor control designs of minimum external components count. The newly released Embedded Power products reduce the component count from today’s approximately more than 150 down to less than 30, thus allowing integration of all functions and associated external components for the motor control in a PCB area of merely 3cm². Thereby, the Embedded Power family enables the integration of electronics close to the
motor for true mechatronic designs.

“Smart motor control applications demand a large variety of sophisticated motor control schemes that are driven by energy efficiency, system cost reduction and comfort needs,” says Andreas Doll, vice president & general manager, automotive body power at Infineon Technologies AG. “Infineon addresses these design challenges with its new automotive qualified Embedded Power family for intelligent motor control using the ARM® Cortex™-M3 processor. Fostering the system-on-chip approach that combines a powerful microcontroller, the MOSFET gate drivers along with all necessary sense, control and actuate functions, our scalable Embedded Power family makes automotive system suppliers benefit from reduced system costs, improved reliability and less system level complexity.”

Technical features of the TLE987x and TLE986x bridge drivers

Both, the TLE987x and the TLE986x, use the ARM® Cortex TM-M3 processor. Their peripheral set includes a current sensor, a successive approximation 10-bit ADC synchronised with the capture and compare unit (CAPCOM6) for PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) control and 16-bit timers. Furthermore, a LIN transceiver is integrated to enable communication to the devices along with a number of general purpose I/Os. Both series include an on-chip linear voltage regulator to supply external loads. Their flash memory is scalable from 36kB to 128kB. They operate from 5.4V up to 28V. An integrated charge pump enables low voltage operation using only two external capacitors, resulting in a significant BoM reduction when compared with the commonly used voltage bootstrap techniques. The bridge drivers feature programmable charging and discharging current. The patented current slope control technique optimises the system EMC behavior for a wide range of MOSFETs. The products can withstand load dump conditions up to 40V while maintaining an extended supply voltage operating down to 3.0V where the microcontroller and the flash memory are fully functional.

The TLE987x series of bridge drivers addresses 3-phase (BLDC) motor applications such as fuel pumps, HVAC blowers, engine cooling fans, water pumps as well as other pumps and fans. It supports sensor-less and sensor based (including field-oriented control) BLDC motor applications addressed by LIN or controlled via PWM. Its LIN transceiver is compatible with LIN 2.2 and certified by IBEE-Zwickau and C&S Group. The TLE987x series includes six fully integrated NFET drivers optimised to drive a 3-phase motor via six external power NFETs.

The TLE986x series is optimised to drive 2-phase DC motors by integrating four NFET drivers. The TLE986x series is suitable for applications such as sunroofs, power window lifts and generic smart motor control via NFET H-Bridge.

With the new Embedded Power family, Infineon now addresses applications from low-end relay motor control to high-end motor control via MOSFETs.

Design-in support for Embedded Power bridge drivers

Infineon and third party vendors support the ARM® Cortex™-M3 based Embedded Power family of bridge drivers by a complete development tool chain. It includes compilers, debuggers, evaluation board, LIN low-level driver and configuration tool as well as example software code for motor control. Also, Infineon provides starter kits to support the design-in.

Availability

Engineering samples of the TLE987x and TLE986x bridge drivers in a space-saving VQFN-48 package are available with volume production planned to start in Q1 2015. For both series, there are several derivatives available, differing for example in system clock (24MHz or 40MHz) and flash sizes.

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