New Industry Products

Motor Driver ICs Reduce Board Space, Component Count in 50 V Apps

June 23, 2023 by Mike Falter

Toshiba Electronics Europe GmbH has announced its integrated 50 V motor driver ICs for H-bridge and stepper motor applications in multi-function printers, automatic teller machines, factory automation, and robotics.

Toshiba Electronics Europe GmbH (Toshiba) has released four 50 V motor driver ICs for H-bridge and stepper motor applications. The chips reduce board space and component count in motor drive applications and are pin-compatible with other popular motor drive ICs currently on the market. 


DC Stepper Motor

DC stepper motor. Image used courtesy of Adafruit


The four ICs include two constant current dual H-bridge drivers (TB67H481FNG and TB67H480FNG), capable of driving up to two motors each, and a pair of two-phase bipolar stepping motor driver ICs (TB67S581FNG and the TB67S580FNG)  

All four chips are rated to 50 V at the output with an operating range of 8.2 V to 44 V and support output currents up to 2.5 A for DC brushed motor and bipolar stepping motor applications.

Target applications for motor driver ICs include multi-function printers, automatic teller machines, surveillance cameras, factory automation, and robotics.

DC stepper motors

DC stepper motors. Image used courtesy of Adafruit


Driving a DC Stepper Motor

Stepper motors are DC motors that rotate in incremental steps and can precisely control the angular position of the rotor without closed feedback. These motors typically have multiple coils organized in phases. The precise sequencing of current through the phases of the motor creates the rotating magnetic forces that, combined with the design of the motor itself,  allow the motor to be operated with a high level of precision.

Due to their unique characteristics, stepper motors are widely used in applications requiring precise motor positioning and speed control–3D printers, factory automation, and robotics. Unlike most other motors, stepper motors can also provide full torque at low speeds. 

The TB67S5 series allows for full, half, quarter, 1/8, 1/16, and 1/32 control of a stepper motor, roughly defining the number of incremental, controlled steps within the motor rotation. It does this by controlling current levels and timing to the sets of motor coils through drive outputs A and B. The bridge configuration of the output drive circuits allows for two-phase control of the motor windings.   


TB67S580FNG drives a stepper motor’s coils

TB67S580FNG drives a stepper motor’s coils. Image used courtesy of Toshiba


Second Sourcing Strategies

The number and types of applications for DC brushed, and stepper motors are vast, creating a significant market opportunity for component suppliers that sell into these applications.  

With short design cycles for OEM end products, similar motor drive circuits will often be adopted across multiple product platforms and generations of product platforms. As a result, IC packaging, pin configuration, and operation can become standardized over time. 

Quarter step control resolution with the TB67S580FNG

Quarter step control resolution with the TB67S580FNG. Image used courtesy of Toshiba

Suppliers often release new products that conform to these adopted standards to participate in these markets. They can serve as a second source to, or “drop-in” replacement for, popular components, meaning they can be used without a circuit board layout change. While pin-compatible with existing solutions, these second-source products are typically designed to introduce new performance capabilities or cost advantages.    

As OEM products move through their natural lifecycle, second source strategies become essential to the sustaining engineering and cost reduction initiatives that help OEMs ensure their end products remain competitive.