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New Automation Systems Can Be Smaller, Smooth, and Silent with Advanced Motion-Control Chip from STMicroelectronics

 

  • Highest-precision tiny motor driver brings finer motion control to laboratory automation, industrial robots, 3D printers, and other applications
  • High feature integration enhances reliability while low power consumption satisfies energy-efficiency demands

Geneva, November 27, 2017 – The fine motor skills of precision robots can become even more advanced using the latest electronic innovation from STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), a global semiconductor leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications.

Sophisticated, space-saving advanced laboratory-automation systems are helping medical centers cut clinical costs and accelerate turnaround times – to provide high-quality care for more patients – while industrial robotics including 3D printing have greatly enhanced accuracy and throughput in recent years. 3D printers can produce parts with complex shapes, quickly and accurately, and are becoming more and more affordable, for consumer and professional uses from prototyping to production.

ST’s STSPIN820 IC enables the next generations of stepper-motor-based robots to achieve even greater smoothness and silence, with smaller size, greater precision, and lower power consumption. With its high-speed inputs and precise micro-stepping algorithm, it can turn a motor by a fraction of a degree to move a 3D printer’s head at a speed of more than 500mm/s, with submicron precision to create parts very quickly and with incredible surface finish, or control extremely precise movements like sample loading, capping/decapping, and storage/retrieval in next-generation clinical automation systems. Other motor-driven medical equipment such as plate handlers, fluid pumps, blood analyzers, and respirators can be quieter, more compact, and cost-effective.

Measuring just 4mm x 4mm, and containing both the control intelligence and fully protected power components (rated 45V and 500mΩ RDS(ON)) for driving the motor, the chip is the world’s smallest all-in-one high-precision controller. Manufacturers of automation equipment can simply place the device on the controller circuit board, with minimal extra parts needed to complete the system, to save space and enhance system reliability.

The STSPIN820 can help innovators in precision automation continue delivering improvements,” said Domenico Arrigo, General Manager, Industrial and Power Conversion Division, STMicroelectronics. “Its high precision, small size, and low power consumption help simplify high-accuracy motion control for many other types of equipment, including textile and sewing machines, surveillance equipment, cash-handling machines, office and home automation, and point-of-sale (POS) terminals.”

The STSPIN820 is in production now, packaged as a 4mm x 4mm QFN device, and available from $1.25 for orders of 1000 pieces.
The associated STSPIN board (X-NUCLEO-IHM14A1) will be showcased at the ST booth at SPS IPC Drives in Nuremberg, 28-30 November 2017.

STSPIN820 delivers a superior combination of high performance and cost-effectiveness by leveraging ST’s new proprietary Smart Power technology, which integrates motor-control logic featuring a high-precision micro-stepping algorithm with a low-RDS(ON) fully protected power stage in a single device. It provides familiar step-clock and direction-input pins thereby simplifying connection to a host processor or microcontroller.
In addition, a dedicated Standby pin allows the device to be put in low-power mode to minimize consumption in energy-conscious applications.
Over-current, over-temperature, and short-circuit protection are also built in, allowing the device to withstand harsh industrial environments, and further helping to reduce circuit complexity, component count, and bill-of-materials costs.

About STMicroelectronics

ST is a global semiconductor leader delivering intelligent and energy-efficient products and solutions that power the electronics at the heart of everyday life. ST’s products are found everywhere today, and together with our customers, we are enabling smarter driving and smarter factories, cities and homes, along with the next generation of mobile and Internet of Things devices.

By getting more from technology to get more from life, ST stands for life.augmented.

In 2016, the Company’s net revenues were $6.97 billion, serving more than 100,000 customers worldwide. Further information can be found at www.st.com

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