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TIDEP0061: How to use TIDEP0061 reference design with general CNC software?

Part Number: TIDEP0061
Other Parts Discussed in Thread: DRV8711


 I much interested in  "4-Axis CNC Router with 250 kHz Control Loop with PRU-ICSS based on SORTE " for control mini CNC machine. How to use it with CNC software? e.g. Mach3  and GRBL.



  • Hi KK,

    Thanks for your interest in TIDEP0061. This TI design focuses on the real-time communication control unit and the stepper motor driver control. The interface between the CNC software and the SORTE master cam by done by the ARM processor - such function is not available yet and needs to get developed by customers.

  • KK,

      SORTE protocol solves two problems in CNC application.

    1. By using packet based communication up to the motor there is a more robust transmission of step,dir and position information. In addition packet based communication allows to use daisy chained wiring which is significantly less than point to point wires for discrete step, dir and position signals per motor.

    2. SORTE supports a min cycle time of 4 us or a max step frequency of 250 kHz. The motor driver DRV8711 also supports max step frequency of 250kHz. Such high step frequency allows fast and smooth (high micro-step number) movement of axis.

    The challenge on 4 us step generation resides in cnc software. For example LinuxCNC with interrupt latency in 10s or 100s of us does not allow step generation in 4 us steps - even with fastest x86 CPUs. GRBL runs on rather slow MCUs supporting up to 30 kHz step frequency. Porting GRBL on AM335x MPU with up to 1 GHz and RTOS could get us to > 100 kHz step frequency. Here the stepper.c source would need to be adapted to interface with SORTE master protocol on PRU.

    Another option would be to split CNC processing to multiple CPUs. Devices such as 66AK2G and hardware reference