STMicroelectronics said its ST7FMC microcontroller family has been automotive-grade qualified, since all of the application-specific devices in the family now operate over the full automotive temperature range of -40 °C to 125 °C.
The devices, built around an industry-standard 8-bit core, are designed for driving brushless direct current (BLDC) motors in car body applications such as fuel and water pumps, cooling fans and interior blowers. They are said to offer a greater degree in system integration than competing devices based on microprocessors or digital signal processors, thus they lessen the need for external components, reduce printed circuit board space requirements, and support reduced code sizes.
Members of the ST7FMC family feature an embedded motor-control cell that includes six-phase pulse-width modulation (PWM) control, voltage or current sensing, and a back electromotive force (BEMF) detector for sensorless control of permanent-magnet BLDC motors. The motor-control cell lightens the load on the CPU, and patented algorithms enable the cell to offer fail-free motor-starting capabilities. Other features include a local interconnect network (LIN) communications interface, current sensing for stall detection, asynchronous emergency stop, write-once registers, and a clock security system (CSS). The devices come in TQFP32 and TQFP44 packages.