Discrete and Process Automation

Video: Microcontrollers for motor control and AI-based predictive maintenance

30 October 2020

Renesas Electronics Corporation has extended its microcontroller (MCU) portfolio designed for motor control applications targeting smart homes, industrial automation and building automation. Featuring a rich set of peripheral functions and artificial intelligence (AI)-based failure detection, the four new RA6T1 Group MCUs are expand the Renesas Arm-based RA family and are the first RA MCUs designed for the needs of motor control in home appliances, HVAC, solar inverters and AC drives.

Based on the Arm Cortex-M4 core, the new RA6T1 32-bit MCUs operate at 120 MHz and feature an array of peripherals optimized for high performance and precision motor control. The integrated peripheral functions with high-speed analog significantly reduce the bill of materials (BOM) cost while boosting motor control Source: Renesas Electronics CorporationSource: Renesas Electronics Corporationperformance. A single RA6T1 MCU can simultaneously control up to two brushless DC (BLDC) motors.

In addition, the Google TensorFlow Lite Microframework for TinyML applications adds enhanced failure detection to the RA6T1 MCUs, offering customers an intelligent, easy-to-use, and cost-effective sensorless motor system for predictive maintenance. The TensorFlow AI framework detects potentially detrimental anomalies in motor systems earlier and more accurately to help customers improve their predictive maintenance processes and reduce maintenance costs.

Key features of the RA6T1 Group include: 120 MHz Arm Cortex-M4 with the floating-point unit; scalability from 64-pin to 100-pin LQFP packages; 64 KB RAM and scalability from 256 KB to 512 KB flash; 32-bit pulse width modulation (PWM) timer with advanced functions, including support for seven types of complementary PWM modes for the carrier generation; 250 uses sampling period when used with the motor control solution bundle; and a 6-channel programmable gain amplifier.

A new Renesas Solution Starter Kit (RSSK) is also available for developers working on a motor control solution using the RA6T1 MCUs. The RSSK offers easy motor control debugging and allows customers to immediately begin evaluating their motor control design, executing real-time analysis and tuning to accelerate development. The easy-to-use motor solution includes a RA6T1 CPU card and 48V-compatible inverter board, along with a GUI tool for a motor workbench, and a sensorless vector control sample program with a three-shunt method that corresponds with the Flexible Software Package.

To contact the author of this article, email GlobalSpecEditors@globalspec.com

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