Toshiba delivers ARM MCU for highly efficient dual-motor control

toshibatmpm370Santa Clara, Calif. — A new ARM-based microcontroller (MCU) from Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc. (TAEC) targets power-efficiency appliance designs. The TMPM370 32-bit MCU is designed for use in high-efficiency AC motor applications such as washing machines, refrigerators and air conditioners.

The device combines an 80-MHz ARM Cortex-M3 processing core with a hardware vector engine, providing enough computation capability to drive two independent motors, said TEAC. The TMPM370 is the first ARM Cortex-M3 processor-based MCU to include a hardware vector engine, and is also the first of Toshiba’s 5-V family of ARM Cortex-M3 processor-based MCUs for industrial and home appliance control, offering good noise immunity and simple interfacing to 5-V logic, according to the company.

TEAC said the algorithms that determine motor movements are computationally intensive, and a motor’s real-time control and computation requirements can conflict with each other. The TMPM370 MCU cuts the CPU load in half by offloading most of the heavy calculation to the vector engine, which also handles many of the timing tasks, such as collecting samples from ADCs and directing inputs to the PWM circuits. This means the TMPM370 has enough compute power and real-time control capacity to handle two motors simultaneously, according to the company.

The TMPM370 also includes on-chip 256-Kbyte FLASH, 10-Kbyte SRAM, dual 12-bit analog-to-digital converters, 4 serial interface controllers, eight 16-bit timers, 76 GPIOs, a voltage regulator, power-on reset, low-voltage detection and oscillator frequency detection, making it a complete one-chip solution for motor control.

The TMPM370 complies with IEC60730 Class B requirements for appliance safety. Power-on tests and continuously-operating fault condition checks are handled by a combination of on-chip hardware blocks and a software library.

Availability: Engineering samples of the TMPM370 MCU are available now. Mass production of the device is currently scheduled for the second quarter of 2010.
Pricing: The TMPM370 MCU is priced at $4.50 per unit in quantities of 10,000.
Resources: TMPM370 product brief.