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World's first single-chip motor controller

December 01, 2012

Toni_McConnel-December 01, 2012

The new single-chip cSPIN motor controllers from STMicroelectronics are designed for precision equipment such as robotic systems and industrial automation, stage lighting, security cameras, camera focusing mechanisms, sewing machines, and general positioning and rotation equipment. The small size and low weight of the cSPIN solution enables lower-cost and more responsive equipment compared to using a conventional multi-chip drive. The new controllers improve overall system efficiency by eliminating the need for shunt resistors, thus reducing unwanted power dissipation.

cSPIN also allows precise control over rotation speed, which is particularly important for repeatable, accurate mixing of liquids in applications such as handling of medical samples. For all applications, the smooth and noiseless operation delivers advantages for users, especially in quiet environments such as laboratories or on hospital premises. The L6480 supports micro-stepping operation at up to 1/128 steps resolution, and the L6482 features the predictive control algorithm and the auto-adaptive decay mode.


cSPIN micro-stepping controllers for 2-phase stepper motors are the world's first single-chip motor controllers, according to ST, providing several technical advantages over existing alternatives. Communication with the main system uses high-level commands via a standard Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI). The on-chip gate-driver circuitry, for the motor’s power stage, can operate from 8 V to 85 V, which allows applications to scale smoothly over a wide power range up to 300 W. ST’s digital motion engine is optimized to overcome known challenges such as avoiding resonance to ensure exceptionally smooth and quiet motor operation.

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