TRINAMIC Teams with Actel’s SmartFusion™ Intelligent Mixed Signal FPGAs for Motion Control

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The power of full-custom SoC technology without the cost and leadtime on display at ESC Silicon Valley, Actel booth #930

TrinamicⳠdemonstration board, paired with ActelⳠSmartFusion Development Kit.

“We see a big future for motion-control systems based on SmartFusion devices,” says Michael Randt, CEO of Trinamic. “We have development programs underway now for motion-control modules."

Trinamic, the industry leader in embedded motion control systems, today announced its partnership with Actel Corporation (NASDAQ: ACTL) for complete motion-control systems. The two firms will combine the power and flexibility of Actel’s SmartFusionTM intelligent mixed signal FPGAs with Trinamic’s industry-leading driver ICs for stepper motors and brushless DC (BLDC) motors. Trinamic and Actel are demonstrating the power of this combination at the Embedded Systems Conference Silicon Valley this week.

Small motors are used in applications ranging from printers and appliances to advanced medical diagnostic equipment. These motors require drive electronics, and Trinamic has established itself as the world leader in this market. The systems also require a microprocessor, and in the past have needed so-called ‘glue’ logic – extra components to connect the microprocessor to the rest of the system. By combining FPGA technology with the proven ARM™ CortexTM-M3 and programmable analog, Actel’s SmartFusion family gets rid of the glue, saves cost, and reduces time-to-market.

“We see a big future for motion-control systems based on SmartFusion devices,” says Michael Randt, founder and CEO of Trinamic. “We have development programs underway now for our own line of motion-control modules, and we believe other system designers will see the advantages of combining Actel’s SmartFusion FPGAs and Trinamic’s devices.”

Trinamic’s demonstration board supports the TMC603A for BLDC motors, and Trinamic’s new TMC262 for stepper motors. The TMC262 implements Trinamic’s coolStep™ technology, which intelligently manages the amount of drive current to the motor, so that the motor easily handles the load but does not consume extra power or generate excess heat. Among many applications, stepper motors are used in medical and laboratory instrumentation, where they offer precise motion control, but are not very power-efficient. Designers of biotech and medical equipment struggle to keep the heat of conventional stepper motors from damaging biological and chemical samples. Trinamic’s TMC262 can reduce motor heat dissipation by as much as 80%, making the equipment more sensitive and more reliable.

For designs based on BLDC motors, the TMC603A combines intelligence and drive in one device. It integrates the power-driving MOSFETs and their gate driving circuits with short-circuit protection, automatic commutation (switching), and many other functions.

Trinamic’s demonstration board works with Actel’s SmartFusion Development Kit (A2F-DEV-KIT). Actel’s SmartFusion devices combine a 32-bit processor with an FPGA core, capable of implementing a wide range of peripheral functions. With its powerful 32-bit CPU and programmable logic, the SmartFusion FPGA can be paired with multiple Trinamic devices to control a mix of brushless and stepper motors. This reduces manufacturing costs and design time, especially in complex systems.

The demonstration system is at the Actel booth, #930, for the duration of the show, and engineers from both firms are available to answer questions and explain the synergy of the systems.

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Ubbo Ronhardt
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