With the expansion of portable technology in everyday life, new tiny, low-power electric-motor drivers from STMicroelectronics are enabling sophisticated battery-powered equipment to become smaller and more mobile with extended runtime.
Controlling the motors at the heart of devices like portable medical pumps and drivers, personal wellness devices, portable point-of-sale devices, miniature robots, surveillance equipment, precision tools, and portable printers requires considerable engineering know-how. One of the biggest challenges is to combine logic and power components in a single chip on tight space and power budgets.
ST has now gathered all of these ingredients together in its new line-up of tiny single-chip motor drivers that meet the needs of the most demanding portable and wearable applications. The combination of low power consumption, small form factor, and outstanding performance of ST’s new motor drivers is set to contribute to the widespread adoption of battery-powered IoT devices.
Measuring just 3mm x 3mm, ST’s new devices are the world’s smallest single-chip motor drivers integrating all the functionalities to enable product designers to deliver compact, lightweight, and user-friendly innovations into their target markets.
Frugal with battery energy, the drivers operate from a supply voltage as low as 1.8V and support power-saving design with ultra-low, best-in-class standby current of less than 80nA for a zero-power state when the motor is inactive. On the other hand, they can supply up to 1.3Arms to drive the motor and can be used in a wide range of applications that include robotic positioning systems, printer motors, camera-autofocus mechanisms, toothbrush motors or syringe pumps.
ST’s new low-power, low-voltage STSPIN motor drivers are in production now, in 3mm x 3mm QFN packages, priced from $0.75 for the STSPIN230 and STSPIN240, and $0.95 for the STSPIN220, for orders of 1,000 pieces.
The series currently comprises the ith two complete on-chip MOSFET bridges for driving two brushed DC motors. Another device designed to drive a single brushed DC motor with the current capability extended to 2.6Arms will go in production during Q3 2016. The power stage of each device features efficient integrated MOSFETs that minimize energy loss and heat dissipation. Despite their tiny size, there is no compromise in performance or function. The STSPIN220 can drive stepper motors with position resolution of 256 microsteps per step, enabling extremely smooth motion and fine positional accuracy.
In addition, all devices benefit from comprehensive built-in protection features including over-current, over-temperature, and short-circuit protection. These ensure ruggedness and reliability, even in harsh industrial environments, without additional components thereby further reducing cost and complexity.