Microchip have expanded their family of 16-bit PIC microcontrollers and dsPIC digital signal controllers with devices aimed at cost-sensitive applications for general-purpose control tasks and motor control. They enable sensorless motor control designs with support for a variety of motor control algorithms, along with an on-chip charge time measurement unit (CTMU), 10-bit analogue to digital converter and mTouch capacitive touch sensing to enable intelligent sensor applications.

The devices are supported by three plug-in modules and a single-board motor control starter kit, which includes capacitive touch sliders and an onboard BLDC motor. The dsPIC33FJ16 ‘GP’, dsPIC33FJ16 and PIC24FJ16 ‘MC’ devices all have on-chip CTMU and ADC peripherals, while the general-purpose dsPIC33FJ16 ‘GP’ DSCs include a real-time clock/calendar and up to 21 general-purpose output pins.

The ‘MC’ devices include a 6-channel pulse-width modulation (PWM) peripheral with synchronised outputs for three-phase operation. This makes them especially suitable for a wide range of motor control algorithms and applications ranging from simple sensored motors to advanced sinusoidal field-oriented control (FOC), brushless DC (BLDC) motors, permanent magnet motors and synchronous AC induction motors (ACIMs), in applications designed to provide higher efficiency, quieter operation, smoother torque and higher reliability.

A motor control starter kit with mTouch Sensing (DM330015) contains a single board with a BLDC motor, capacitive-touch sliders and a built-in debugger. Plug-in modules for the dsPIC33FJ16GP102, PIC24FJ16MC102 and dsPIC33FJ16MC102 are available for use with the Explorer 16 (DM240001) and the dsPICDEM™ MCLV (DM330021) development boards.

Image: Microchip