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Next-generation automotive BLDC motor drivers

08 May 2012

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Melexis claims to have developed a next-generation IC family for sensor-less and sensor-based BLDC motor control for automotive applications. The new IC family follows the MLX81200 core integration concept. According to the company, this newest family of driver ICs combines voltage regulator, LIN -Transceiver, MCU, EEPROM, Flash, RAM, Power FET Pre-Driver and several dedicated-circuit blocks for highly-efficient BLDC motor control from a single IC. Thus, customers can realize a very small PCB design with an absolute minimum BOM to create simple or sophisticated actuators.

The new IC family consists of 4 base family members, namely MLX81205, MLX81207, MLX81210 and MLX81215, each of which is available in different memory configurations and in different package options. The IC family is 45V load dump-protected and will be qualified according to AEC-Q100 Grade 0 for high temperature automotive application support. They are also single die-per-package solutions (System On Chip) that brings to customers minimal BOM by reducing IC and system costs. Likewise, similar to MLX81200, the new family supports the Melexis-patented TruSense sensor-less driving algorithms in HW and SW for starting and driving BLDC motors in different constructions in a reliable way under unknown load conditions for a high dynamic range in speed, says Melexis. Different current wave form profiles (block, trapezoidal, sinusoidal) can be applied for optimal and energy-efficient motor performance.

On this IC family, Melexis also introduces a solution for slope control on power transistor switching. This allows customers to optimize in software EMC behavior as well as thermal dissipation of the power transistors during the switching process.

Melexis product line manager Thomas Freitag said: "Melexis addresses with the slope control several problems of electronic and mechatronic designers (who) only have a very limited PCB space available to solve heat and EMC problems."

The IC family targets permanently running BLDC motors typically found in various automotive applications. Examples include fuel pumps, water pumps, oil pumps, engine cooling fans, HVAC blowers and battery cooling fans where high energy efficiency and low system cost are in focus. Its concept allows for platform designs, so that a high reuse in SW and discrete HW could be achied.

The first family member, the MLX81215 in QFN48 7x7 with software development setups, is now available for alpha customers. The other family members and a general availability for developments at customers are expected to be ready in the next months.

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