Atmel Corporation has introduced the ATA6831, a driver IC designed to work with a microcontroller to control two dc motors or up to three different loads in automotive or industrial applications. A high-voltage capability (up to 40 V) also allows the ATA6831 to be used in 24 V-supplied truck applications.
Manufactured using Atmel's SMARTIS high-voltage BCD-on-SOI (bipolar CMOS DMOS silicon-on-insulator) technology, the part is said to feature enhanced pulse width modulation (PWM) performance for smooth motor control with reduced noise.
The ATA6831 is a fully protected, triple half-bridge driver with integrated power stages. Each of the three high-side and three low-side drivers are capable of driving currents up to 1.0 A. The ATA6831 supports the application of H-bridges to drive dc motors and it features an enhanced PWM frequency of up to 25 kHz, outside the human acoustic range. Dc motor control is carried out without any audible noise caused by the PWM signal, according to the company. Reverse, brake and high impedance operation modes are controlled by an SPI interface.
Protection features include overtemperature warning and shutdown, overload, overvoltage protection, and full protection against short circuits. Several diagnostic bits are set in the SPI output register and can be read by the microcontroller. In case of undervoltage at the supply pin, the power-supply fail bit in the output register is set and all outputs are disabled. If the overtemperature pre-warning bit is set, the system developer can implement software routines on the microcontroller to decrease the power dissipation and temperature. Further temperature increases beyond a certain level will cause the IC to shut down to prevent destruction. The device also provides protection against conducted interference, as well as EMC and ESD protection, and can withstand transients as specified in ISO/TR 7637.