Motor Control with NXP Microcontrollers

Document created by jorge_plascencia Employee on Apr 25, 2016Last modified by ebiz_ws_prod on Dec 13, 2017
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Electric motors drive motion in all kinds of applications, from washing machines and exercise treadmills to the HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems in commercial buildings. The drawback is that they can consume quite a bit of energy. Refrigeration for homes and offices accounts for nearly 10% of the world's energy usage, and roughly 60% of all the electrical power generated in the US is consumed by electric motors.

Designers are using 32-bit MCUs to add sophisticated motor control to their systems, and thereby improving efficiency, reducing cost, and saving energy. In consumer appliances, for example, the trend is away from motors that cycle on and off (and require high starting torque) and more toward smaller, electrically-controlled motors that operate continuously, at a slower speed, and adapt their torque (and speed) to maintain the desired performance. These new, electrically-controlled motors save power and, as an added bonus, reduce maintenance and extend service life because they use fewer mechanical components.

NXP Advantage

Design challenges for electric motors include finding ways to improve accuracy, increase speed, reduce power consumption, limit electromagnetic interference (EMI), lower cost, and expand the number of tasks the system can perform. NXP's 32-bit ARM MCUs meet all of these challenges. They offer ample performance with integrated options specially tailored to motor control:

NXP Product Families for Motor Control

  • All the ARM MCUs integrate general-purpose PWMs for basic motor control.
  • Five families offer dedicated motor-control PWMs (LPC43xx, LPC18xx, LPC17xx, LPC32x0, LPC29xx).
  • Four families offer a Quadrature Encoder Interface (QEI) for very accurate orientation, feedback, and control (LPC43xx, LPC18xx, LPC17xx, LPC29xx).
  • Four families offer 6-channel PWMs for control of three-phase motors (LPC21xx, LPC22xx, LPC23xx, LPC24xx).
  • Two families offer the proprietary State Configurable Timer (SCT) subsystem, which is comprised of a timer array with a state machine enabling complex functionality including event-controlled PWM waveform generation, ADC synchronization, and dead time control. This timer subsystem gives embedded designers increased flexibility to create user-defined waveforms and control signals (LPC43xx, LPC18xx).

Many of today's motor-control applications use 8- or 16-bit MCUs or DSPs. Designers looking to upgrade to 32-bit performance will find plenty of choices in NXP's portfolio. Our MCUs offer a range of motor-control options, in a wide variety of formats:

  • Package sizes from 48 to 320 pins
  • Memories from 8KB to 1MB of flash, with flashless options
  • Clocks from 1kHz to 267MHz
  • DSP capabilities with the LPC4300 Cortex-M4 series
  • Integrated ADCs in 10- and 12-bit formats
  • Built-in peripherals, including Ethernet, USB, LCD, and CAN


Comparison Table

Below, are NXP's ARM MCUs featuring dedicated PWMs for motor control and Quadrature Encoder Interfaces (QEIs):

Product(s)ARM CoreMotor Control PWM
(# Channels)
Quadrature Encoder
State Configurable

Cortex-M3-Based MCUs with Dedicated Motor Control PWMs

Click here for more information: ARM Cortex-M3 Core MCUs

ARM9-Based MCUs with Dedicated Motor Control PWMs

Click here for more information: ARM9 Core MCUs


LPCXpresso Motor Control Kit

The LPCXpresso Motor Control Kit, developed in partnership with Embedded Artists, is ideal for prototyping your motor control project or when you wish to learn more about motor control. The board can be directly controlled by LPCXpresso LPC1114/LPC1343/LPC1768 target boards. With this universal platform, it is possible to control BLDC, BLAC, stepper, and dual-brushed DC motors. The kit comes with the LPCXpresso Motor Control Board, an LPCXpresso LPC1114 target board with LPC-Link JTAG (supported by the LPCXpresso IDE), a BLDC motor with hall sensors, and a 24V/60W power supply. The kit is available through NXP's distribution network.


  • Sample Code Bundle for LPC213x/LPC214x Peripherals using ARM's RealView (Mar 8, 2006)
  • Sample Code Bundle for LPC213x/LPC214x Peripherals using Keil's μVision (Dec 18, 2008)
  • Sample Code Bundle for LPC23xx/LPC24xx Peripherals using Keil's μVision V1.60 (Mar 10, 2009)
  • TN0700x Sample Code V1.00 (Jun 22, 2007)


More Information





Software from NXP referenced on this page is provided AS-IS by NXP Semiconductors. NXP Semiconductors does not support or warrant the software contained herein for any purpose other than for informational use.

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