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Innovators in Electronic Design - Trailblazer: Chuck Lewin, CEO, Performance Motion Devices

Dec. 11, 2023
Over the years, Chuck Lewin has worked closely with his team to deliver motion-control ICs and boards that tackle the unique requirements of today’s machine designers.

Chuck Lewin is a pioneer in delivering high-performance motion control on an IC and installing that IC in a range of products so that they would speak one common motion language.  Today, Performance Motion Devices (PMD) delivers on that original vision with world-class motion-control ICs, drives, and boards, allowing machine designers to build systems faster, more reliably, and at a lower cost using this common motion-control IC approach.

Some might say that it began with a passion for software. Early in his career, while working as a software engineer for a manufacturer of semiconductor robotics, he repeatedly butted his head against National Semiconductor's LM628's limits. He concluded that there was an opportunity to develop a higher end product, so in 1992 he started PMD.

In less than a year, the first commercial multi-axis motion processor was released. This breakthrough product paired the advantages of IC packaging with sophisticated functions previously available only in board-level motion-control products.

The drive to innovate and develop breakthrough motion products led him to introduce the Magellan family of motion-control ICs in 2003. Magellan multi-axis ICs and boards provide position and velocity for brushless DC, DC brush, and step motors. These flexible and powerful ICs provide profile generation, servo-loop closure, commutation, current control, and pulse and direction output, along with direct quadrature encoder input.

Seeing the need for standalone modules, in 2006 he expanded the company’s product offerings to include the ION Digital Drive. Driven by the Magellan IC, these compact, fully enclosed modules provide high-performance motion control, network connectivity, and power amplification. They became popular for medical, scientific, semiconductor, robotic, industrial, and other automation applications.

Over the years, Lewin has worked closely with his team to deliver motion-control ICs and boards that tackle the unique requirements of today’s machine designers. Some of these new products include the Magellan MC58113 IC, which provides high-performance control with an integrated digital current loop, Atlas compact, solderable, single-access modules for torque control, and the Juno family of ICs that provides advanced velocity and torque control.

The trailblazing continues… In 2021 PMD released one of the industry’s smallest, most intelligent motion-control drives, the ION/CME N-Series Drive. N-Series IONs feature a patented, ultra-rugged PCB-mountable package and also provide high-performance motion control, network connectivity, and power amplification for Brushless DC, DC Brush, and step motors.

What’s more, like all PMD products, it's powered by a single-axis IC that speaks one common motion language. 

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