FPGA Implementation of a Brushless Motor Control

D. Vélez and M. Shanblatt (USA)


Brushless DC motor, FPGA, MicroBlaze, Hall sensors


This paper describes the analysis and design of a brushless DC motor controller using an FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array). This type of motor is used today in many ap plications, but the possible use of this motor in new electric automotive applications is our main interest. The control system is implemented using the Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) technique in an FPGA with a MicroBlaze soft pro cessor core [1]. The fundamental knowledge required to control this type of motor is discussed along with the im portant properties of the circuit design. Special power con straints are discussed in order to avoid possible hardware problems. Speed regulation is achieved by changing the PWM waveform to obtain better power consumption given that the motor is using a constant drive voltage. The motor is synchronized by making use of its Hall sensors to obtain smooth commutation and to reduce the current drawn dur ing a single rotation. The Xilinx Spartan 3 board with a MicroBlaze soft processor provides all the features needed to implement the control, and to study its performance.

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