Miniature motor drivers simplify appliance designs, boost efficiency

Miniature motor drivers simplify appliance designs, boost efficiency

STMicroelectronics (ST) announces the addition of two miniature motor drivers to its range of SLLIMM (Small Low-Loss Intelligent Molded Modules), which will enable domestic appliances to offer better energy ratings. Energy marking and labeling schemes, such as the ENERGY STAR mark and in-store energy rating labels, which are mandatory in many countries, give consumers the tools to identify energy efficient products in each price range. Intelligent motor controllers provide the key to using less energy, while also enabling additional benefits such as new features and quieter operation in appliances such as dishwashers, refrigerators, air conditioners, and fans.

ST’s new SLLIMM nano family extends the portfolio of SLIMM intelligent power modules for appliance motor drivers in a single module that connect directly between the central microcontroller and the motor. Compared to a conventional driver, which typically requires more than 30 individual components, ST’s modular solution reduces costs by simplifying design and significantly reducing component count while saving space, improving reliability, and lowering electromagnetic emissions (EMI). The modules are also suitable for small built-in motor applications where assembly space is limited.

Two variants are available; the STGIPN3H60 and STGIPN3H60A. They are each housed in a 29.15 x 12.45 mm package with 26 leads, making them ST’s smallest such devices to date. Inside each module is a complete three-phase half bridge including high-voltage gate drivers and IGBT power switches, plus freewheeling diodes and bootstrap diodes. The bootstrap diodes supply high-voltage circuitry on the motor side as the driver module is starting up. Integrating it within the module delivers additional savings in external components.

The STGIPN3H60A provides basic motor-drive capabilities for price-sensitive applications. Extra features in the STGIPN3H60 include an uncommitted op-amp, which engineers can use to feed back the sensed motor current to the microcontroller in a closed-loop, Field-Oriented Control (FOC) system. There is also a comparator for use in over-temperature or over-current shutdown. The STGIPN3H60 also has a smart shutdown function capable of generating a simple fault indication or shutting the driver down safely within 200 ns in an emergency.

Major features of the STGIPN3H60/A:

  • 600V/3A IGBT rating
  • Optimized for low electromagnetic interference
  • Fixed, dead-time and interlocking function
  • Under-voltage lockout
  • Shutdown function
  • Pin-out optimized to simplify board layout
  • 1.57 mm creepage distance between high and low voltage pins, meeting international safety standards for high-voltage devices
For more information, contact STMicroelectronics, 1000 E. Bell Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85022. Phone: (602) 485-6100.

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