1st motion ICs incorporate CANbus interface

CANbus, an industrial communications technology well established in Europe, is making a mark for itself in various ways in North America.


PMD’s Magellan motion processors come in single-IC/single-axis and two-IC/multi-axis versions—packaged in a 144-pin TQFP (thin-quad flat pack) and a 100-pin TQFP format. Prices start at $24 and $39, respectively, in OEM quantities.

CANbus, an industrial communications technology well established in Europe, is making a mark for itself in various ways in North America.

One such indication comes from the recent announcement by Performance Motion Devices Inc . (PMD) of what it calls “the world’s first programmable motion processor to directly support a CANbus interface.” Intended for distributed-control applications, these powerful motion ICs are available in 1, 2, 3, and 4-axis configurations to control a variety of motors—brush dc, brushless dc, microstepping, and pulse/direction-type motors. The ICs provide motion-profile and motor signal generation, servo-loop closure, and signal handling like a PLC.

Besides CANBus (control area network) communications, PMD’s Magellan motion processors add numerous advanced features to the chip: 32-bit position error, dual bi-quad filters, 50ers, and performing maintenance and diagnostics,” according to PMD. Magellan processors accept position, velocity, and acceleration inputs from the host and generate a corresponding trajectory. They accept feedback from an incremental encoder at up to 5 Mcounts/s or from an absolute encoderor resolver at 160 Mcounts/s. Communication to these devices—which operate at 3.3 V—takes place via CANbus, 8- or 16-bit parallel, serial asynchronous point-to-point, or serial multi-drop.

"For years, distributed control has been the watchword of the motion industry. But few high-volume, low-cost, systems were available. With the advent of CANbus in dedicated motion ICs, networked motion just got a lot more accessible,” says Chuck Lewin, PMD’s president and CEO. “You can now integrate your own motion module with off-the-shelf sensors, actuators, and displays. That represents a huge savings in engineering time and cost.”

—Frank J. Bartos, executive editor, Control Engineering, fbartos@reedbusiness.com

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