ZiLOG’s Z8 Encore! MC (FMC16100 Series) is an 8-bit MCU that offers vector control capability in appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines. Vector control was previously considered to be the domain of digital signal processors (DSPs), digital signal controllers (DSCs) and 16- or 32-bit microcontrollers. With the vector control capability, the equivalent of DSP functionality in vector control can be enabled.
Appliances using the vector controlled FMC 16100 can improve the energy efficiency of the motor to around 90% to 95% as it replaces conventional motors with brushless dc (BLDC) motors, enabling extremely accurate variable speed control. The vector control required by today’s appliances enables precise, highly responsive speed control during changes in the load and optimizes motor efficiency during transitional operations.
In front-loading washing machines, for example, where the motor typically runs at up to 18,000 rpm, the fast acceleration possible with vector control reduces power and saves time in the wash cycle. In addition, precise speed control is required to deliver the necessary clothes agitation that is key to reducing water consumption.