Microchip launches dev boards for motor control designs

microchipdspicdemdevboardChandler, Ariz. — Microchip Technology Inc. has introduced two low-cost development systems — one for the control of high-voltage motors and another for stepper motors. These development tools, together with applications notes and free source-code software, enable speedy designs using Microchip’s dsPIC digital signal controllers (DSCs).

Microchip said the dsPICDEM MCHV Development System is the industry’s only development tool for the quick evaluation and design of high-voltage, closed-loop motor control applications using AC induction motors (ACIMs), brushless DC (BLDC) motors or permanent magnet synchronous motors (PMSMs). The board includes in-circuit debugging circuitry, eliminating the need for a separate debugger for development with Microchip’s dsPIC33 motor control DSC families. It also includes a proven motor-control system and power factor correction (PFC) for regulatory requirements, said Microchip.

Click here to watch a video demonstration of the dsPICDEM MCHV.

The dsPICDEM MCSM Development Board is touted as the industry’s most cost-effective tool for creating unipolar and bipolar stepper motor applications. This board enables the rapid development of both open-loop and current-closed-loop microstepping routines using Microchip’s dsPIC33 motor control families. This development tool also provides engineers with a control GUI, which allows them to focus on integrating other application features and fine-tuning the motor’s operation.

Several royalty- and license-free software application notes with source code are being released for development, five with the dsPICDEM MCHV and one with the dsPICDEM MCSM.

  • AN957 Sensored BLDC Motor Control Using dsPIC30F2010
  • AN984 An Introduction to AC Induction Motor Control Using the dsPIC30F/dsPIC33F DSCs
  • AN1078 FOC Sensorless PMSM with SMO Estimator, Field Weakening and Dual Shunts
  • AN1160 Sensorless BLDC Control with Back-EMF Filtering Using a Majority Function
  • AN1299 FOC Sensorless PMSM with SMO Estimator, Field Weakening and Single-Shunt
  • AN1307 Stepper Motor Control with dsPIC DSCs

Microchip’s free Field Oriented Control (FOC) software libraries enable the development of green motor-based systems. By using these libraries, the engineer can run motors at their peak efficiency and generate the maximum torque using the minimum amount of energy, said Microchip.

Microchip’s stepper motor control library enables the development of high-speed stepper motor control applications with variable micro-stepping down to 1/64 of a step. By using closed-loop current control, stepper motors can be run several times faster than their rated speeds with high torque and very-low-noise operation, according to Microchip.

The free MPLA IDE comes with an application called the Data Monitoring and Control Interface (DMCI) for fast parameter turning for different motors.

Availability: Both tools are available for purchase from or any authorized worldwide distributor.

Pricing: The dsPICDEM MCHV Development System (part # DM330023) is priced at $650. The dsPICDEM MCSM Development Board (part # DM330022) costs $129.99, and is also available as the dsPICDEM MCSM Development Kit (part # DV330021, $269.99), which includes a stepper motor and 24-volt power supply.

Resources: Microchip’s dsPIC DSC motor control solutions