Energy & Sustainability Technology
Energy efficiency on a chip

C2000 Piccolo Pr 300  270X216
Article @ Cnet on TI’s new “Energy efficiency chip” — this is interesting, most microcontrollers can do this now with pulse width modulation & analog to digital sensors, but TI seems to be grabbing the mindshare as they say…

Energy efficiency, in general, is considered the most cost-effective way to decrease pollution. And specialized power electronics is one way to conserve energy usage.

Sophisticated microcontrollers could, for example, set an air conditioner or refrigerator fan at a lower speed rather than always full blast. A variable-speed air conditioner could be 30 percent more efficient, says TI.

By contrast, many of the embedded chips that control motors and power supply in appliances are not very nuanced: either the power is on or off. Manufacturers have used these chips because they are the least expensive.

But TI said that it has shrunk the size and cost of its chips, which can be adapted to several different uses. The 32-bit controllers will start at $2 per chip for volume purchases.

4 thoughts on “Energy efficiency on a chip

  1. It’s just not the case that “most microcontrollers” can perform all the calculations to control AC motors, which are overwhelmingly the kind used for refrigeration compressors. PWM is for DC motors only. Simplistic strategies for AC lead to huge issues with noise and power factor.

  2. Good point, look at the peripheral specs: http://focus.ti.com/lit/ds/sprt493/sprt493.pdf

    “TI’s patented, enhanced pulse width modulators (ePWM) support the industry’s highest resolution with frequency modulation down to 150 pico-seconds to enable more control over harmonics and reduce sample-to-output delay—a critical factor to avoid missing the falling edges of signals. At 4.6 MSPS, Piccolo devices’ on-chip, 12-bit ADC is up to four times faster than the closest competitor, allowing designers to reduce the complexity and cost of the design process, while achieving excellent accuracy and performance.”

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