A design platform for variable-speed motion-control systems integrates the related digital, analog, and power technologies to simplify and speed up system design. It also can optimize system performance and reduce design costs. Called iMotion, the platform comprises a development system and mixed-signal chip set (see the figure). It targets applications in the 200-W to 4-kW range, encompassing "white-goods" appliances, factory automation equipment, and precision servo systems.
In developing iMotion, International Rectifier identified three factors critical to the design of variable-speed motion-control systems: the costs associated with power components, the intellectual property (IP) associated with the digital control, and the analog "glue" that connects the digital and power elements. So in crafting its integrated design solution, the company set out to reduce the cost of the power section, reduce the number of analog "glue" components, and improve the digital IP.
While several of its components have been previously available, the iMotion design platform is new as a complete entity. Its newest aspect is the digital element, Accelerator. This development system is based on an FPGA-configured signal architecture that executes complete field-oriented-control and a pulse-width-modulation algorithm loop.
Unlike the general-purpose DSPs and microcontrollers it aims to replace, Accelerator requires no coding. Instead, the system designer uses the iMotion development software and IP library to configure an FPGA with one of the supplied control algorithms.
International Rectifier Corp.
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