ST: new SDK makes motor-control design faster and easier

STMicroelectronics has further simplified development of advanced, energy-efficient motor drives on STM32 microcontrollers by harmonizing the latest STM32 PMSM FOC Software Development Kit with the STM32Cube ecosystem. The move extends opportunities for engineers to build sophisticated drives for equipment such as air conditioners, home appliances, drones, building automation, industrial machinery, medical devices, e-bikes, and many others, without needing specialized experience.

Building on previous generations of ST’s Field-Oriented Control of Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motors SDK, the new version 5.0 firmware libraries align with the STM32Cube Hardware Abstraction Layer and Low Level architectures, which eases development, customization, and debugging. In addition, free access to source code gives developers extra flexibility, control, and customizability.

New with MC-Workbench version 5.0, the Graphical User Interface leverages the STM32CubeMX workflow to set up the project, configure microcontroller peripherals, and generate initialization code automatically. It also lets users monitor and change control loop parameters in real time, as they develop or debug their projects.

A rich selection of algorithms are included implementing popular PMSM-control techniques such as Maximum Torque Per Ampere to maximize efficiency and handle varying load conditions. Flux-Weakening control for extended speed range and feed-forward control for enhanced stability at high speeds are also included. Further features include “start-on-the-fly” to ensure smooth drive insertion when the rotor is already turning, which is often needed for outdoor fans such as in air conditioners or smoke extractors.

Users can take advantage of proven, powerful SDK features including the Motor Profiler, which helps characterize most aspects of a motor quickly by automatically detecting the electrical parameters (stator resistance (Rs), inductance (Ls), and motor-voltage constant (Ke)), as well as mechanical friction and inertia. A variety of flexible motor-control strategies are also supported, including current sensing with single- or triple-shunt or isolated current sensors (ICS), rotor-position detection using encoder or Hall sensors, or sensorless control. The SDK also supports dual-motor applications, leveraging the rich analog features and multiple motor-control timers integrated in many STM32 variants.


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