Drives and Controls Magazine

ARM-based motion control is ‘a first’

08 May, 2007

A Texan electronics specialist, Luminary Micro, claims to have developed the first real-time motion control system to be integrated into an ARM-based microcontroller. It says that the development will make it easier for OEMs to design motion control systems, and will slash the time and cost of developing new products.

Jean Anne Booth, Luminary’’s chief marketing officer, suggests that the complexity of optimising the power and control functions of motion control systems is often under-estimated. "While the market potential is great," she says, "the challenges facing motion control OEMs are even greater: energy efficiency; complexity of applications; time to market; and software development costs. Bringing an ARM [Advanced RISC Machine] architecture to the motion control industry, addresses not just one of these challenges, but all of them."

Luminary Micro stepper kit

Luminary has produced two design kits to help user to implement the new technology. The kits include several motion control algorithms loaded into Flash memory, allowing engineers to evaluate motor and system performance via a graphical interface, "within ten minutes of opening the box". The kits include motors, and power stages based on Fairchild devices.

The first kit is designed to drive three-phase induction motors up to 750W, and can scale up to motors ten timer larger. The second kit is designed to control bipolar stepper motors rated at up to 3A, 80V.