New Industry Products

Atmel Introduces New DC Motor Control IC with Enhanced PWM Functionality

January 18, 2007 by Jeff Shepard

Atmel® Corp. announced the availability of the new ATA6831 driver IC with enhanced PWM performance for smooth dc motor control with reduced noise.

The ATA6831 is designed to control, via a microcontroller, two dc motors or up to three different loads in automotive and industrial applications such as flap control for a cash dispenser. Due to the device’s high voltage capability (up to 40V), the ATA6831 can also be used in 24V-supplied truck applications. Since the device is manufactured using Atmel’s high-voltage BCD-on-SOI technology (SMARTIS™), the IC provides a broad range of protection features.

The small, low-cost ATA6831 is a fully-protected, triple half-bridge driver with integrated power stages. Each of the three high-side and three low-side drivers are capable of driving currents up to 1.0A. The ATA6831 supports the application of H-bridges to drive dc motors. The device’s PWM functionality allows smooth motor control: with an enhanced PWM frequency of up to 25 kHz, which is outside the human acoustic range, the dc motor control is carried out without any audible noise caused by the PWM signal. The reverse, brake, and high impedance operation modes are controlled by the SPI interface.

The ATA6831 provides several protection features such as overtemperature warning and shutdown, overload, overvoltage protection, and full protection against short circuits. Several diagnostic bits are set in the SPI output register and can be read by the microcontroller. In case of undervoltage at the supply pin, the power-supply fail bit in the output register is set and all outputs are disabled. If the overtemperature pre-warning bit is set, the system developer can implement software routines on the microcontroller to decrease the power dissipation and temperature. Further temperature increases beyond a certain level will cause the IC to shut down to prevent destruction. The device also meets strict automotive qualification demands (protection against conducted interference, EMC and ESD protection) and can withstand transients as specified in ISO/TR 7637.

Samples of the ATA6831 driver IC are available now in Pb-free QFN18 packages with pricing starting at US $0.99 for 10k-piece quantities. An application board for development support can be ordered for US $131.