July 27, 2023
Beyond Traditional Brush Motors
Brushless DC (BLDC) motors and permanent magnet synchronous motors (PMSMs) have become increasingly popular for many applications. Without brushes and commutators, they are more efficient than brushed motors, and they increase motor life. To eliminate the brushes and the commutator, these motors employ an electronically generated revolving magnetic field. This is accomplished by using external circuits to modulate the voltages and currents delivered to the phases.
Although these circuits add some complexity, BLDC motors and PMSMs offer major advantages over traditional brushed motors. Their electronic commutation schemes improve energy efficiency by 20 percent to 30 percent over brushed motors running at the same speed while being more durable, smaller, lighter and quieter.
Field-oriented control (FOC), a technique used to control PMSMs, provides superior performance in minimizing torque ripple and extending speed operating range. It’s becoming more popular and is starting to show up in higher-cost, higher-performance power tools and white goods. Embedded programming on a microcontroller (MCU) is a common choice to implement FOC-related features and functionality, plus satisfy each individual application requirement while optimizing the overall solution.
This blog post provides an overview of a Qorvo Design Summit webinar that explores FOC-based BLDC/PMSM motor design, including an example of how to program a microcontroller chip to access and manage motor operation.