LONDON – Toshiba Corp. has announced it will start developing microcontrollers (MCUs) with an improved on-chip "vector engine" to serve as a co-processor for motor control operations.
The development is in response to a market demand for energy efficient dc motors to replace ac motors in many applications. The control of dc motors generally requires, or can benefit from, more sophisticated control, Toshiba said. The use of the vector engine as a coprocessor for control algorithms improves the energy efficiency of motor applications, Toshiba said without quantifying the claim.
Toshiba said its M370 family of MCUs containing the Vector Engine was developed as part of Toshiba's Cortex-M3 based MCU series. The Cortex-M3 is a processor core licensed from ARM Holdings plc
Toshbia is now developing a New Vector Engine that will handle more applications and further improve energy efficiencies in motor design. Development will start with the TX03 series, based on Cortex-M3, followed by the TX04 series based on the Cortex-M4F core. A third product line will be the TX00 series based on the Cortex-M0 core and including a programmable motor driver rather than the New Vector Engine.
The TX03, TX04 and TX00 MCU product lines will be offered with variations on the available embedded memory, peripheral functions and packages to tailor them for motor control functions in home appliances, office equipment and factory automation equipment.