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Stepper | Cypress Semiconductor

Block Diagram

Design Considerations

A stepper motor is a type of brushless DC electric motor that divides one full rotation into a number of equal steps.  The motor's position can be controlled to move and hold at one of these steps, as long as the motor is fitted to the application, taking into account the torque and speed.  Stepper motors have multiple tooth shaped electromagnets around a center gear.  These electromagnets are driven by external circuitry or a microcontroller (MCU).  To make the shaft of the motor turn, power is applied to one electromagnet, which magnetically attracts the gear "tooth" to the shaft.  When one of the gear's "teeth" are centered with the electromagnet, this offsets the teeth from the next electromagnet.  When the next electromagnet is turned on, and the first is turned off, the gear rotates to align with the next one (this process is repeated).  Each rotation is called "steps" (integer number of steps making a full rotation) and with this concept, the motor can be turned at a precise angle.  Using one of Cypress's FM MCU's or PSoC®, a stepper motor system can be developed quickly and reliably, with minimal discrete components.

Application Notes

  • This application note describes the functionality and usage of the Stepper Motor Controllers (SMC).

  • The Stepper Motor Controller consists of PWM generators, motor drivers, selectors and A/D converter inputs. The ADC inputs can be used to measure the voltage level at the SMC pins during operation. The SMCs have high current output drivers, where two motor coils can be connected directly (No further driver is necessary). The combination of the PWM generators and selector logic circuits is designed to control the motor rotation

  • AN2197 shows how to use the PSoC® (Programmable System-on-Chip) to drive a low-power stepper motor for smart pointer gauges. This application note demonstrates how to perform micro stepping in the stepper motor using PSoC 1. In addition, this application demonstrates using a PC-based utility to control the pointer position in the stepper motor.

  • AN2246 describes for PSoC® 1 a high speed, high-resolution PWM source that overcomes traditional PWM source limitations in output signal frequency and resolution.

Development Kits/Boards

  • This kit enables engineers to evaluate Cypress's PSoC family of devices for motor control applications. Based on this kit, customers can create control solutions for three dominant motor types: permanent magnet synchronous motor (PMSM), stepper, and brushless DC (BLDC).

  • The PSoC 4 Pioneer Kit is an easy-to-use and inexpensive development platform enabling you to create unique designs with the flexibility of PSoC®4. Featuring the PSoC 4200 device family, this kit gives you the power of an ARM Cortex-M0 combined with the fully customizable analog and digital fabric of the PSoC in the palm of your hands.

Software and Drivers

  • PSoC Creator

    PSoC Creator is a state-of-the-art software development IDE combined with a revolutionary graphical design editor to form a uniquely powerful hardware/software co-design environment.

  • PSoC Designer

    PSoC Designer is the revolutionary Integrated Design Environment (IDE) that you can use to customize PSoC to meet your specific application requirements. PSoC Designer software accelerates system bring-up and time-to-market.