How to have it all: Designing next-generation industrial drive and control systems

Blog by Sam Sabapathy, C2000™ Microcontroller applications manager, Texas Instruments

Developers of next-generation industrial drives systems are always looking for ways to differentiate their drives solution from competition by implementing innovations in performance latency, precision and functionality.

For you to do this successfully requires high-performance and highly integrated processors, yet this often increases development costs and adds system complexities that delay time to market and reduce ability to deliver next-generation designs quickly. 

Implementing new technology must be seamless and simple as well as add value for end users and developers. In summary, next-generation systems must “have it all.”

FPGAs have been traditionally used to increase performance of critical functions, but they can be expensive, difficult to program and are not easily scalable between different systems. The dual-core C2000™ Delfino™ F2837xD MCUs from Texas Instruments provides an intuitive and scalable platform for you to have it all.

With the F2837xD, you can access a 32-bit floating-point CPU running at 200 MHz and boosted by several accelerators, including a trigonometric math unit (TMU), a Viterbi Complex Unit, and a real time control accelerator, also known as a CLA. These MCUs make it easy to implement various mathematical transforms and trig-heavy computations in a programmable platform. For example, a torque loop calculation with C28x + TMU can reach 3 µs, which is comparable to a fixed implementation in an FPGA.  

In addition to performance, you need to ensure low latency and a deterministic architecture for time-critical control loop. The Delfino F2837xD MCU offers tightly coupled memory architecture without a cache as well as deterministic peripherals so that designers know what the worst-case execution path is.

You will learn that the integration of control and analog peripherals are truly what separate this MCU from the competition. This F2837xD MCU integrates four independent 16-bit ADCs, which allow precision feedback for servo drives while increasing overall system throughput to allow multiple tasks such as monitoring three phases of a motor while also receiving position information through a software resolver interface. More analog peripherals, such as integrated sigma delta filters, are featured on this MCU. These sigma delta filters provide isolated current shunt measurements with a seamless interface to sigma delta modulators like the AMC120x. These MCUs also provide critical power stage protection from current faults with the windowed comparators. Many more analog and control peripherals such as DACs, PWM, eCAPs, eQEP make this device a completely integrated MCU helping to solve all control needs.

The Delfino F2837xD MCU architecture subsystems also have error check functionality, including power up and run-time application level diagnostics that improve system-level integrity.

There is a variety of software libraries, CLA math libraries, development kits, tools and technical support. Click here to get your own Experimenter Kit.

From high performance and low latency to high integration and ease of use, we have what it takes to help you bring to life differentiated next-generation control systems. To find out more about why our C2000 Delfino F2837xD MCUs are ideal for industrial drives, check out our new white paper. You can also watch an actual industrial drives demo video.

Leave us a note below and let us know how you envision improving your next industrial drive system!