The Altera® Motor Control Development Framework lets you easily create integrated, high-performance drive-on-a-chip systems for Altera Cyclone® FPGAs and SoCs. The framework comprises reference designs, software libraries, intellectual property (IP) cores, and a portfolio of motor control hardware platforms supporting the development of motor control systems in a single FPGA.
It seamlessly integrates system-level design and software development tools for embedded Nios® II and ARM® processors, allowing you to extend and customize the reference designs to meet your own application needs. Our Cyclone FPGAs, with high-performance fixed- and floating-point DSP functionality and Nios II soft processor support, offer a scalable and flexible platform for integration of cost-effective single- and multiaxis drives on a single FPGA.
The framework shown in Figure 1 provides:
- A software-centric system design methodology that seamlessly integrates ARM/Nios II processor software development with our system-level design tools such as DSP Builder and Qsys
- Optional integrated model-based design flow for advanced control algorithms using MathWorks’ MATLAB/Simulink and optimal mapping to the FPGA via DSP Builder
- Drive-on-a-chip reference designs implementing multiaxis field-oriented control (FOC) of permanent magnet synchronous motor (PMSM) motors
- Software libraries and configurable IP cores from Altera and industrial IP partners for power-stage control and current, voltage, and position feedback interfaces
- Flexible integration of Industrial Ethernet connectivity and diagnostic systems for functional safety architectures
- Hardware platforms including Altera’s multiaxis and EBV Elektronik’s FalconEye motor control boards
Figure 1: Motor Control Development Framework
Optimized Motor Control Design Flow
Optimizing motor control algorithms and designs requires versatile tools and a practical tool flow. Figure 2 shows how the right tool flow helps model and simulate the system, implement complex algorithms with low latency, integrate the system, and fine-tune the performance to the exact needs of the motor drive.
Figure 2. Optimize Drive Designs with an Integrated, Flexible Design Flow
You can get powerful and easy-to-use development tools, such as Quartus® II design software, and system integration tools, such as Qsys and DSP Builder for DSP optimization. With support for model-based environments such as MATLAB/Simulink to model the algorithm, you can build a motor control system that can be directly and optimally mapped to a HDL implementation by DSP Builder for optimized Altera-based drive designs. You can develop your software using industry-standard software tools and integrated with FPGA DSP and interface IP using the Qsys tool.
The framework supports optimal partitioning decisions between software running on an integrated processor and IP performing portions of the motor control algorithm in the FPGA. For example depending on the performance requirements of your system or the number of axes you need to support, you can implement position, speed, and current control loops entirely in software or accelerate DSP-intensive functions such as the FOC current control loop in the FPGA for ultra-low latency. The development framework gives you the ability to scale performance via processor offload to the FPGA, helping you meet the most demanding requirements.
Motor Control Reference Design
Altera provides a multiaxis drive-on-a-chip reference design that showcases the framework elements and design flow described above. It includes a complete FOC IP subsystem integrated with key motor control and interface IP, and system software running on the integrated processor.
Motor Control Development Kits
Motor control hardware platforms are also available. These include the multiaxis motor control development board that connects to the multiaxis drive-on-a-chip reference design running on Terasic's Industrial Networking Kit (INK) and Altera Cyclone V FPGA development boards. A single-axis variation of the drive-on-a-chip reference design is also supported on the FalconEye motor control platform.