onFire comprises an FPGA and communication baseboard known as FireFighter, FireDriver motor driver power modules, state-of-the-art motor control algorithms and communications IP. The platform can be used to control any motor type or mix of motor types, making it suitable for motion control applications across a variety of automotive, industrial, medical, instrumentation and consumer electronics equipment.
The FireFighter baseboard features an Altera Cyclone-III low power 65nm FPGA, and a variety of communication options including CAN ports, Ethernet interfaces, RS232 connectivity and 40 protected user I/Os. Power is provided by an integrated National Semiconductor power supply, while on-board memory comprises 256Mbit of 200MHz DDR2, a 16Mbit configuration memory and 16Mbit of serial flash memory for code storage.
Up to six galvanically isolated FireDriver power modules can be connected to the baseboard. These generic 4-phase drivers provide up to 10A per channel at a DC bus voltage of 50VDC and are available with protected and filtered encoded and/or Hall effect sensor inputs. Back EMF sensing on three phases facilitates the implementation of sensorless drives, while synchronised ADC sampling is possible on all phases within the same PWM cycle. Each FireDriver has its own on-board National Semiconductor power supply.
To support the hardware implementation, the MotionFire platform is supplied with key software and IP including a full reference design based around Altera’s versatile NIOS II configurable soft processor. Advanced regulators are implemented in hardware with VHDL source provided as part of the platform, while features such as trajectory generator are implemented in software. Engineers also have access to real-time Ethernet protocol IP.
All of the MotionFire hardware has been designed by Arrow’s European reference board engineering team, with Altera and National Semiconductor sponsoring the digital and analogue aspects of the design respectively. Customised motor control IP has been developed by Swedish motor control specialist Unjo AB. The bespoke communication IP comes from Softing AG, a specialist in hardware and software for industrial automation and automotive electronics.