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  Date: 16/07/2015

Near-zero noise, less CPU-dependent stepper motor controller from Trinamic

Application-specific analog ICs are sometimes little difficult to find matching your requirements for applications such as stepper motor controllers where precision requirement is high. Germany-based TRINAMIC motion Control has unveiled a stepper motor controller IC TMC2100 for single-axis control with unique features supporting applications such as 3-D printing. TMC2100 packs MOSFETs with RMS motor current up to 1.2A.

This chip supports off-the CPU configuration by providing seven pins on the IC to set parameterization and feature selection for typical motor applications. This saves the CPU from extra bit of programming for configuring the stepper motor. The 7 pins can be easily reconfigured in a particular way by using berg stick shorting on the PCB instead of rewriting the software code for the processor to do the job. This might be a better option for hardware inclined engineers who have less knowledge about programming a processor.

TMC2100 offers up to 256 micro-steps per full step. Another advantage highlighted is, this IC driver helps in reducing the motor noise to near zero level by using a patented stealthChop IP, which uses voltage mode PWM technology. TMC2100 is a good selection for noise sensitive stepper motor applications which are used in labs.

The important application launched by this device is 3-D printing. There is a lot of maker community involved in fabricating their own 3-D printers, who are being targeted as prospective customers for this IC. Trinamic says TMC2100 is finding rapid acceptance in the open-source 3D printer "maker" community.

"Low-cost TMC2100 breakout boards compatible with the popular StepStick motor drives used for 3D printers have hit the market to much positive acclaim for their near-silent operation." says Trinamic.

TMC2100 can be operated as a fully stand-alone device with motion controlled through Step, Direction and Enable pins. Trinamic offers another similar IC TMC2130 with additional features of full diagnostics linked through a standard SPI interface.

TMC2100 and TMC2130 are available today in a QFN36 (5x6mm) package.
Listed Price: USD 2.30/ea. in volumes of 1000.

An evaluation kit, reference source code, reference layout and free, intuitive desktop development and evaluation software are also available.

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