AMI Enhances I2C Stepper Motor Driver and Controller IC

AMI Semiconductor (NASDAQ: AMIS), a leading designer and manufacturer of state-of-the-art integrated mixed-signal and structured digital products for the automotive, medical and industrial markets, has announced enhancements to its family of single-chip stepper motor driver and control ICs. New features that further improve design flexibility include a facility for running stepper motors at a continuous velocity and an automatic start function which allows a stepper motor to start automatically when powered up.

The enhanced features have been incorporated into the latest version of the AMIS-30624, a device designed for the control of remote and multiple axes positioning applications via high level position instructions on the I2C bus. RunVelocity is the new I2C command that makes the stepper motor run at a continuous, defined velocity — a feature that is particularly useful for pumps, where flow needs to be controlled very accurately. Velocity can be changed ‘on the fly’ under user or software control. Designers looking to allow a stepper motor to act in the same way as a brushed DC motor can now select an ‘automatic start’ function. When selected, the motor will start running as soon as power is applied, based on parameters loaded from an internal non-volatile memory bank.

Designed for mechatronic applications, the AMIS-30624 is a highly integrated device suited to designs where the motor controller IC is a peripheral device located next to a host microcontroller on a PCB. Sensorless stall detection functionality allows designers to implement silent yet accurate position calibration and semi-closed loop operation when approaching mechanical end stops. An integrated ‘Motion Qualification Mode’ helps application developers to select a robust set of motion parameters such as torque and acceleration-deceleration profile. As a result, noise and vibration at end-stops can be eliminated and motion control accuracy and reliability improved without the need for optical encoders, position sensors or software algorithms.

In addition to pumps, target applications for the AMIS-30624 include surveillance camera control, professional lighting equipment, industrial ‘X,Y,Z’ tables, manufacturing robots, and building automation. The device will operate at temperatures from -40°C to 125°C and can deliver programmable currents of up to 800mA at 125°C. The on-chip position controller provides the micro stepping feature and is configurable for different motor types, positioning ranges and parameters such as speed, acceleration and deceleration. A power down supply current of under 100µA ensures minimum power consumption in standby mode.

Based on AMI Semiconductor’s advanced mixed-signal semiconductor processes, the AMIS-30624 is available in a choice of SOIC-20 or NQFP-32 packaging. High levels of integration help designers to improve reliability while lowering component count, minimizing board space and significantly reducing engineering effort and development time.

Unit pricing for the AMIS-30624 is $4.85 in volumes of 5000.

About AMI Semiconductor
AMI Semiconductor (AMIS) is a leader in the design and manufacture of silicon solutions for the real world. As a widely recognized innovator in state-of-the-art integrated mixed-signal and structured digital products, AMIS is committed to providing customers with the optimal value, quickest time-to-market semiconductor solutions. Offering unparalleled manufacturing flexibility and dedication to customer service, AMI Semiconductor operates globally with headquarters in Pocatello, Idaho, European corporate offices in Oudenaarde, Belgium, and a network of sales and design centers located in the key markets of North America, Europe and the Asia Pacific region.