New Industry Products

Miniature, Silent Motor Controller Improves UX for IoT and Portable Devices

September 28, 2019 by Paul Shepard

Trinamic Motion Control GmbH & Co. KG today unveiled the world's smallest single-chip motor driver that uses StealthChop™ technology to enable virtually silent operation. Setting the standard for two-phase stepper motors up to 1.2A RMS and with a voltage range of 1.8- to 11-Vdc, the TMC2300 offers very low power consumption while hiding the fact that there's a motor involved at all. Now, one or two Li-ion cells or two AA batteries are all that is needed to create innovative designs that deliver a superior user experience (UX).

The TMC2300 enables battery-powered stepper motors to run in "stealth mode," emitting virtually no noise or vibration. Silent, small, precise, and extremely efficient with a standby current draw of < 50nA, the two-phase stepper motor driver changes the way motors can be used in portable devices and IoT.

The TMC2300 incorporates three exclusive Trinamic technologies:

  • StealthChop2™: A high-precision algorithm that produces drive waveforms which enable motors to be inaudible - both in motion and at standstill.
  • StallGuard: Sensorless motor load measurement, a combination of on-chip circuitry and firmware that enables the driver to perform sensorless homing and detect mechanical obstacles.
  • CoolStep Sensorless; Load-dependent current control that optimizes the motor's energy consumption on the fly, enabling energy savings of up to 80% over conventional motor drives.

The TMC2300's industry-leading low-power characteristics are made possible by Trinamic's StealthChop2 chopper circuit and the device's low RDSon, supported by an integrated charge pump. When used in combination with the driver's CoolStep™ feature, the TMC 2300 can reduce a motor's energy consumption by up to 90% over standard chopper, enabling battery-powered applications to enjoy longer running time and cooler operation.

Offering extreme energy efficiency, silent operation, and advanced development tools for fast, easy customization, the TMC2300 is optimized for IoT and handheld devices, battery-operated equipment, point-of-sale devices and printers, toys, miniature medical devices, office and home automation products—including smart thermostatic radiator valves—and much more.

Michael Randt, Founder and CEO of Trinamic explains: "Small motors are ubiquitous. They have made their way into our daily lives. It's time to advance the Fourth Industrial Revolution by changing the way motors are used in portable devices. The TMC2300 is the perfect low-voltage solution for big innovations in a small package."

Combining Trinamic's latest technologies, such as StealthChop2 and StallGuard4™, the low-voltage stepper driver enables stepper motors to blend in with their environment and use the sensorless homing feature to eliminate the need for limit switches. These capabilities support new use cases for portable devices, such as silent-running prosthetics and wearable devices that don't draw attention to their users.

Because the TMC2300 doesn't compromise on performance, it's also suited for turning once-stationary devices into mobile, battery-powered devices that are convenient to use.

Able to power stepper motors off battery voltages as low as 1.8V, and equipped with all the latest available current control and diagnostics technologies, Trinamic's TMC2300 allows for smarter, more efficient, and totally silent battery-operated devices. Available starting in September, Trinamic's smallest, single-chip motor driver sets the standard for advanced low-voltage and highly efficient stepper motor drivers.

Features and Benefits:

  • Smart, silent, efficient motor control for two-phase stepper motors requiring up to 1.2A RMS
  • Supports a wide operating voltage range (1.8-11V DC), enabling more battery options for portable applications (e.g., two AA / NiMh cells, or one to two Li-Ion cells)
  • Standby current draw of < 50nA (typ) extends operating time
  • Single wire UART and Step/Dir interfaces for easy, reliable motor and control connections
  • Up to 256x microstepping for extreme precision
  • StallGuard4™ & StealthChop2™ enable sensorless homing, integrated motor protection, and silent operation
  • CoolStep™ technology provides energy saving and automatic standby current reduction
  • Available in a compact QFN20 (3x3) package