Sophisticated battery-powered equipment is becoming smaller and more mobile with extended runtime, but controlling the motors at the heart of devices like portable medical pumps and drivers, personal wellness devices, portable point-of-sale devices, miniature robots, surveillance equipment, precision tools, and portable printers requires considerable engineering know-how.

One of the biggest challenges is to combine logic and power components in a single chip on tight space and power budgets.

STMicroelectronics has gathered all of these ingredients together in its new line-up of tiny single-chip motor drivers to meet the needs of the most demanding portable and wearable applications. The combination of low power consumption, small form factor, and outstanding performance of ST’s new motor drivers is set to contribute to the widespread adoption of battery-powered IoT devices.

Motor drivers 01 Figure 1: Full-featured motor drivers simplify design and save space in battery-powered and portable applications. (Source: STMicroelectronics)

Measuring just 3mm x 3mm, ST’s new devices are the world’s smallest single-chip motor drivers integrating all the functionalities to enable product designers to deliver compact, lightweight, and user-friendly innovations into their target markets.

Frugal with battery energy, the drivers operate from a supply voltage as low as 1.8V and support power-saving design with ultra-low, best-in-class standby current of less than 80nA for a zero-power state when the motor is inactive. On the other hand, they can supply up to 1.3Arms to drive the motor and can therefore be used in a wide range of applications that include robotic positioning systems, printer motors, camera-autofocus mechanisms, toothbrush motors or syringe pumps.

“Our latest STSPIN single-chip devices are proven to simplify precision motor control and cut time to market for new products,” said Domenico Arrigo, general manager for Industrial and Power Conversion Division, STMicroelectronics. “The ultra-low power consumption extends runtime in battery-operated applications and enables designers to enhance portable and mobile devices with high-added-value motorised functions.”

ST’s new low-power, low-voltage STSPIN motor drivers are in production now, in 3mm x 3mm QFN packages, priced from Rs. 50.68 ($0.75) for the STSPIN230 and STSPIN240, and Rs. 64.19 ($0.95) for the STSPIN220, for orders of 1,000 pieces.