Arrow Electronics, Inc. (Arrow), Altera Corporation (Altera) and National Semiconductor Corporation (National Semiconductor) has introduced their jointly developed MotionFire motor-control development platform to the North American customers. The FPGA based MotionFire platform helps the engineers quickly and cost-effectively design, prototype and test motor applications used in various industrial, automotive, medical, instrumentation and consumer electronics equipment.
The new platform was launched in Europe in 2008. The MotionFire development platform is based on Altera’s Cyclone III FPGA, delivering a flexible and the power saving motor-control environment that supports and bridges the multiple industrial networking protocols and mitigates the obsolescence risk. MotionFire includes the FireFighter FPGA-based communication baseboard and FireDriver motor driver power modules. The platform supports new motor-control algorithms and communications IP, and can be used to control a variety of motor types, including stepper, servo, and AC and the DC motors, demonstrating the value FPGAs offer in multi-axis motor-control applications.
After a successful launch in Europe, we’re pleased to be able to offer this technology to our North American customers, said Robert Behn, vice president supplier marketing, Arrow. Working in tandem with Altera and National, Arrow can now offer a new level of performance and efficiency in a comprehensive motion-control solution.
The new MotionFire platform’s FireFighter baseboard connects up to six FireDriver plug-in power modules or 12 motors, providing motor control, user input/output and real-time Ethernet network communications capabilities. The Cyclone III FPGA featured in FireFighter baseboard drives a broad variety of communication options like Ethernet/IP, EtherCAT, Profinet, SERCOS III, CAN, USB, RS485 and other current and next-generation protocols. The new MotionFire platform also includes an Altera Nios II embedded processor and the motor control IP that supports digital encoder or hall sensor-based motor-control interfaces (VHDL source included) and advanced algorithms for the current, speed and position.
The MotionFire platform delivers a compelling environment for designers to quickly and cost-effectively develop motor-control solutions, said Michael Samuelian, director of Altera’s industrial/broadbase business unit. With the FPGA-based MotionFire platform, designers can build in adaptability and an obsolescence-proof design path into their products.
National is pleased to work with Altera and Arrow to develop platforms that allow customers to improve the energy efficiency of their systems, said Todd D. Whitaker, National Semiconductor’s worldwide vice president of marketing.
The new FireFighter baseboard and FireDriver power modules accept a broad input power supply range, and National Semiconductor’s PowerWise power management products offer a variety of voltage requirements of the digital circuitry. The FireDriver power module performs the motor control, analog signal sensing and conditioning through combination of Altera’s MAX II CPLD and National Semiconductor’s high-performance signal-path products including the 12-bit analog-to-digital converters and the high-precision amplifiers.