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“Shrunken” Smart BLDC Motor Driver Includes 600-V IGBT Array

Dec. 27, 2023
These 1- and 2-A drivers with integral IGBTs simplify BLDC motor management and drive in many consumer and lighter industrial applications.

With all of the deserved attention that silicon-carbide- and gallium-nitride-based systems are receiving, it’s easy to overlook a sturdy, less-glamorous “workhorse” power-switching device that’s been in widespread use for decades—the insulated-gate bipolar transistor (IGBT). To this day, it’s still the right choice in many applications.

Demonstrating the continued role and need for IGBTs, Toshiba Electronics extended its range of what the company designates as “intelligent power devices” (IPDs) for brushless DC (BLDC) motor-drive applications. The new components are well-suited for use in pumps, air conditioning, ventilation, fans, and similar applications.

In-use application requires a minimum number of discrete external components. The design allows for simple interfacing and control of a BLDC motor using logic inputs from an MCU or motor controller.

The new IPDs are based on 600-V-rated IGBTs and include a matched gate driver to deliver a complete, integrated solution in a compact package (Fig. 1). The TPD4163K and TPD4164K come in a 31-pin HDIP30 through-hole package measuring approximately 33 × 13.5 × 3.5 mm. This innovative package reduces the PCB mounting area by over 20% compared to Toshiba’s DIP26 products like the TPD4123x, TPD4144x, and TPD4135x.

The TPD4163K maintains a maximum DC current (IOUT(max)) rating of 1 A, while the more powerful TPD4164K is rated at 2 A. IGBT saturation voltage (VCE(sat)) of the devices is 2.6 V and 3.0 V, respectively, while the diode forward voltages (VF) are 2.0 V and 2.5 V. That maximum supply voltage rating, or VBB(max), increases the design margin. This enhancement is particularly useful in locations where mains power varies or subject to fluctuations.

The devices include a three-shunt-resistor circuit for current sensing, along with level-shifting high-side drivers, low-side drivers, IGBT outputs, fast-recovery diodes, and protective functions for overcurrent and undervoltage. A bootstrap circuit allows for simple high-side supply, while a 5-V regulator is also built in.

To ease the often-challenging task of designing a complete, properly adjusted and functioning BLDC motor drive, Toshiba also offers the RD179-2 reference design for the 2-A TPD4164K that uses its TMPM374FWUG microcontroller as an embedded vector control engine (Fig. 2).

It measures 130 × 85 × 53.4 mm and includes three red LEDs for status display, four DIP switches for status setting, and a potentiometer for speed setting (Fig. 3).

Both the TPD4163K and TPD4164K are available for volume shipments as is the associated reference design.

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