FPGA development platform for motors and drive electronics

The MACinverter is a development platform for developers of customer-specific electric motors and drive electronics. It comprises several building blocks which can be quickly and easily combined to create a customer-specific servodrive, thus shortening time-to-market. Equally, the developer may be trying to develop a new motor and simply wishes to be able to implement his own control algorithms to be implemented on the drive electronics. Our system has also been described by developers as a power electronics prototyping system or a motor control development platform.

MACinverter can solve customer-specific drive problems with special topology or geometry requirements in the area from 100W up to 250kW quickly and efficiently.

The control-box supports the most commonly used feedback sensor systems and communication interfaces used in industrial and automotive environments. There are two slots for feedback sensor interfaces available which can be factory-configured. This enables dual-axis applications where two motors can work independently with the same controller, which is ideal for closely synchronized drive solutions. Also, optional analog and digital I/Os can be factory-configured to integrate the control-box into an pure analog control environment. Furthermore, additional external functions like pre-charge relay, brake relay or various temperature supervision can be realized without additional programmable logic controller (PLC).

The controller can be programmed by transforming proven Matlab/Simulink simulation models with the HDL-coder into executable VHDL-code. This allows the programming of simulated drive algorithms without deeper digital hardware or VHDL knowledge. Contrary to a HIL environment, the generated code is directly downloaded and executed into the target hardware without any powerful emulation computers in the background.

The power-stage can be composed of proven functional blocks. Up to eight half-bridges can be configured, this allows to build nearly all required topologies. The following functional blocks are available, which also can be ordered separately:

  • FPGA-based Control-Box with Communication Interfaces, two feedback sensor slots and eight Half-Bridge Connections.
  • Powerful 2x4W Half-Bridge Gate-Driver with galvanically isolated NTC Sensing Circuit and specialized Driver Output-Stage to minimize Gate-Oscillations during the Miller Plateau Phase.
  • Air-Cooled IGBT Half-Bridge Power-Block, composed of  IGBT Half-Bridge Module, Gate-Driver, Heatsink, Fan, Phase Current Sensor und Snubber-Capacitor. The Components can be configured upon Customer Request. The Half-Bridge Block can also be configured as asymmetric Half-Bridge for Reluctance Power-Stages or can be used as Chopper-Switch, because the chosen IGBT-Modules are equipped with internal Free-Wheeling Diodes
  • Module for isolated measuring of DC-Link Voltages up to 1200VDC.

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