Motion Control Chipsets synchronize multiple axes.

Press Release Summary:

Navigator and Pilot chipsets control brushed dc servos, brushless dc servos, steppers, and microsteppers. Navigator handles 4 axes, while Pilot handles 1. Multi-chip synchronization allows more than 4 axes of motion to be coordinated between any combination of Navigator and Pilot chips. It also allows physically remote or distributed chips to be synchronized within microseconds so they can be used for coordinated motion.

Original Press Release:

PMD Introduces New Multi-Chip, Multi-Axis Synchronization Capability for their Navigator and Pilot Motion Processors

Lexington, MA - Performance Motion Devices, Inc. (PMD), a pioneer in the development of chip-based motion control, announces their new multi-chip, multi-axis synchronization capability for their Navigator and Pilot Motion Processors. PMD's Navigator chipset controls up to 4 axes of brushed DC servos, brushless DC servos, steppers, and microsteppers; the Pilot is a low cost, single chip, single axis control for the same type of motors.

The cost of the Navigator is as low as $114 in OEM quantities; the Pilot cost is as low as $28 in OEM quantities. This new Multi-chip synchronization capability allows more than four axes of motion to be coordinated between the Navigator and Pilot chips, or any combination of them. This feature also enables physically remote or distributed chips to be synchronized to within microseconds so that they can be used for coordinated motion. Jeff Johnson, Engineering Manager at Performance Motion Devices, Inc., comments, "With this capability, we are essentially synchronizing the internal cycle of the chips. The time breakpoint mechanism is then used to start or stop events (motion) based on this globally distributed and synchronized time."

The synchronization feature is implemented by one signal that is distributed across several PMD motion chips; one chip acts as the master and the rest act as slaves. Once motion has begun, it will remain coordinated because each chip's internal cycle of calculation is synchronized with the master chip. The synchronized mode of operation can be turned on or off via chip commands. This feature is software backward compatible with existing Navigator and Pilot chips, so existing designs can be enhanced to support this feature.

Full documentation and technical specifications are available online at Applications and technical support are available from PMD technical service throughout the life of the project.

PMD's motion processors excel in applications where fast, smooth, synchronized motion is a requirement. These applications include medical equipment, materials handling, semiconductor manufacturing, and industrial automation and robotics. Engineering samples of these products will be available in December, 2001.

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