Toshiba's latest group of microcontrollers allows a single chip with a low pin count (32 to 64 pins) to control multiple motors in Field Oriented Control (FOC) methodology.

The M4K MCUs are the second product group in the TXZ family of microcontrollers that incorporate the ARM Cortex-M4F core with a co-processor for Toshiba’s original vector engine that handles FOC algorithm in parallel for high efficient, low noise, and dynamic torque response motor applications, according to the company. The initial M3H group was announced in April 2016 for general purpose wide range of white goods and industrial equipment applications.

The M4K products are suitable for motor control in home appliances, such as air conditioners, and are based on the ARM Cortex-M4F, which incorporates a floating point processing unit. Previously, driving two motors, in FOC methodology, required a product with a 100-pin package. Now, the TXZ family products with 64-pin packages can control two motors because the ADC for detecting motor positions is accelerated and realises a 0.5ms conversion speed.

The new MCUs support the RAMScope interface, which can monitor parameters in real time, without stopping motors, by loading parameters relevant to motor control to the random-access memory (RAM). Also incorporated are a self-diagnostic function that monitors the reference voltage of the A/D converter, and a cyclic redundancy check (CRC) arithmetic circuit that detects incorrect detection for every read operation of the memory. Both contribute to load mitigation of the software process required for functional safety.

Operating at up to 80Mhz, the devices are available in low-pin-count packages, ranging from 32 to 64 pins, and small Flash memory sizes (64KB to 128KB). Sample software uses built-in hardware resources, including the high-precision ADC with 0.5-microsecond conversion speed, Toshiba’s Advanced Vector Engine Plus (A-VE+) and Advanced Programmable Motor Driver (A-PMD).

Samples of 13 products in the MK4 group of MCUs will begin shipping in October.