New 32-bit MCUs provide ideal platform for control of BLDC, PMSM and other motors

The new NXP Semiconductors MCX A series microcontrollers feature high-performance mixed-signal circuitry and a motor-control sub-system, backed by a rich set of software resources in the NXP App Code Hub.

The MCX A series of 32-bit microcontrollers from NXP Semiconductors includes a set of features that support the high-performance operation of electric motors. The performance of the MCX A series can be evaluated easily with the FRDM-MCXA153 development board for MCXA14x and MCXA15x MCUs. 

The MCX A series, based on an ArmÂŽ CortexÂŽ-M33 core, supports the key functions for a broad range of applications in which cost constraints, advanced analog capabilities such as high-precision data converters, and fast time-to-market are key considerations

The features of the MCX A series that are particularly well suited to motor-control include:

  • 4 Msamples/s ADC 
  • High-speed comparators backed by an 8-bit reference DAC
  • Motor control sub-system. The FlexPWM peripheral includes motor control PWM pairs, quadrature decoders and a hardware event generation function

These features make the MCX A series ideal for applications such as:

  • Brushless dc (BLDC) motors
  • Permanent magnet synchronous (PMSM) motors 
  • AC induction motors (ACIM)
  • Field-oriented control
  • Precision servo systems and positioning
  • Distributed battery management systems

The MCX portfolio is supported by the MCUXpresso Developer Experience. This includes a suite of software, tools and hardware prototyping platforms: 

  • Integrated development environments:  
    • MCUXpresso for VS Code
    • MCUXpresso integrated development environment 
    • IARÂŽ Embedded Workbench
    • Arm KEILÂŽ
  • MCUXpresso software development kit (SDK)
    • Extensive suite of robust peripheral drivers, stacks, and middleware
    • Includes software examples demonstrating the use of peripheral drivers and middleware
  • MCUXpresso config tools
    • Includes pins, clocks, and peripheral tools for generation of MCUXpresso SDK code

The NXP GitHub also provides access to application examples including motor control, which can be accessed using the Application Code Hub (ACH) portal. The MCUXpresso IDE from version 11.9.0 and MCUXpresso for VS Code have ACH built-in, so developers can easily browse available examples, and filter by device, application technology or peripheral/feature before loading the project directly for use.

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