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Novel Hall sensor chip will ‘transform’ brushless DC motors

26 October, 2018

A Japanese chip-maker has developed a magnetic sensor IC (integrated circuit) that it predicts will “transform” the development, manufacture and performance of brushless DC motors. Ablic, located in Chiba City, claims that its ZCL Hall IC overcomes a weakness with existing bipolar Hall effect ICs, which cannot detect signals passing the 0mT (zero millitesla) south- and north-pole switching points, thus delaying the signal output.

This means that rigorous design is needed at the development stage because variations in the sensor’s positional accuracy and in the parts that make up the chip may otherwise affect motor performance. This shortcoming in conventional bipolar Hall-effect chip performance can also increase the need for calibration.

Ablic’s ZCL (zero crossing latch) chip uses neither unipolar nor bipolar latch detection, but an “entirely new” detection methodology, and is said to solve the issues that plague conventional Hall ICs. The device – which is being produced in packages claimed to be the thinnest on the market –­ can detect and output a signal when it reaches the 0mT point.

The company predicts that the new chip will improve design flexibility for brushless DC motors “significantly”, as well as improving the efficiency of the calibration process. And because motor performance of the brushless DC motors will be more stable than when using conventional Hall ICs, quality will be improved.

Ablic says that its Hall-effect sensor chips avoid the zero-crossing problems associated with conventional unipolar and bipolar Hall devices

Ablic sees its chips being used to improve the performance of a wide range of brushless DC motors – especially in terms of reliability and low noise levels. Potential applications including industrial motors, vehicle motors, and domestic appliances that need low power consumption, quiet operation, low vibrations or other high-performance functions.

Ablic was formerly Seiko Instruments’ semiconductor business. It was spun off in 2015 as an independent manufacturer of analogue semiconductors, initially called SII Semiconductor Corporation before adopting the Ablic name in early 2018.

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