New Industry Products

MCU Family Drives Motor Control into the IoT Era

February 25, 2015 by Jeff Shepard

Freescale Semiconductor's new Kinetis KV5x MCU family is harnessing the full performance potential of the ARM Cortex-M7 core to enable far-reaching design enhancements in the expansive and rapidly evolving digital motor control market. Electric motors remain the number one source of electricity consumption globally. With the vast majority of deployed motors commonly based on outdated, inefficient technologies, the migration toward digital-based control systems with secure networking capabilities presents a significant opportunity for both energy conservation and end-product feature innovation.

The Kinetis KV5x MCU addresses this by combining leading-edge processing power, sophisticated analog and timing peripherals, and new connectivity, security and safety features. It brings increased motor efficiency, remote system management and end-node interoperability via the Internet of Things (IoT) to a vast range of applications, from home appliances to complex industrial drives.

The Kinetis KV5x MCU incorporates an IEEE® 1588 Ethernet controller, a cryptographic acceleration unit with random number generator and a memory protection unit. With motors often employed in safety-critical environments such as manufacturing process control, these features allow developers to implement new services via the IoT infrastructure while protecting against erroneous inputs that could lead to an undesired operating condition.

“In combining the advanced processing power of the ARM Cortex-M7 core with Freescale’s market-leading IP and robust connectivity, security and safety features, the Kinetis KV5x MCU is establishing the motor control and power conversion segments as compelling new additions to the vibrant IoT landscape,” said Geoff Lees, senior vice president and general manager for Freescale’s microcontroller group. “Kinetis KV5x customers can look forward to a new era of connected industrial applications featuring new levels of performance, reliability and power efficiency.”

The KV5x features a 240 MHz ARM Cortex-M7 core with single precision floating-point unit. This executes program code from up to 1 MB of on-chip flash memory via a 256-bit wide interface that minimizes CPU wait states. 128 KB of data tightly coupled memory (DTCM) and 64 KB of instruction TCM (ITCM) maximize high performance deterministic processing, ensuring optimum response for real-time motor speed and position detection. And with four high-speed 12-bit ADCs, each capable of 5 Msps, the Kinetis KV5x MCU family can support fully asynchronous, dual 3-phase motor control with two dedicated ADCs and 8 channel PWMs per motor. Dual 12-channel eFlexPWMs also support 312 picosecond resolution for driving up to 8 half-bridge power stages in power conversion applications.

“Freescale’s new Kinetis family is taking a leading role in unlocking new areas where energy efficiency and connectivity can enable innovation, in this instance moving motor control beyond its traditional boundaries,” said Noel Hurley, general manager for ARM’s CPU group. “The latest energy-efficient Cortex-M7 is a good fit for this market with its enhanced DSP capability and support for safety-critical applications.” Kinetis KV5x MCU samples are planned for availability in Q2 2015, with production-qualified products planned for late Q3 2015.