Embedded: Toshiba has free design tool for Cortex-M3 MCUs

Toshiba Electronics Europe has announced a free software tool for design and test of embedded motion control applications built around ARM Cortex-M3 motor control microcontrollers.

Dubbed MotorMind, the software is compatible with Toshiba’s TMPM37x family of microcontrollers. These MCUs are notable for a hardware vector engine (VE) and programmable motor drive (PMD) outputs.

The software’s graphical user interface (GUI) has a digital storage oscilloscope function that can take ‘snapshots’ of internal motor parameters at critical points during system operation. It provides a view into the MCU vector engine.

MotorMind gives designer full access to motor, PI-control and system behaviour settings, to allow them to configure motors without recompiling firmware. Parameters set via the GUI are transferred directly to an evaluation board (supplied with the relevant MCU starter kit) and the motor can be immediately run with the new settings. In most cases customised set-up of the motor can typically be achieved in under an hour.

The software provides various views – including a speed and torque display, a ‘statistics view’ and a CPU load monitor. These allow the designer to observe in real time how modifying various motor control parameters effects motor behaviour and MCU performance during acceleration, operation at target speed, and deceleration.

Parameters can be easily exported to a header file for subsequent compiling into firmware. A storage and loading function allows the software to be used with different motor applications.

Toshiba’s TMPM37x ARM Cortex-M3 microcontroller family suits industrial and home appliance applications requiring efficient and accurate field oriented control (FOC) of fans, pumps and compressors.

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