Washing machines. We all have them, or at the very least, use them to clean our clothes every so often. And yes, we’ve clearly come quite a long way since the very first electric washing machines were advertised in national newspapers during the early 1900’s.
Indeed, current-gen washing machines require support for motor controls, water level and temperature sensing, as well as an advanced UI (user interface) capable of withstanding harsh environments. And although one might not think it critical, standards-based, secure connectivity is also a must for appliances tapping into a home network.
As we’ve previously discussed on Bits & Pieces, Atmel’s extensive lineup of MCUs and touchscreen solutions are quite versatile and can be used for a number of applications, including washing machines.
First off, Atmel offers up a wide range of 8- and 32-bit microcontrollers that are dedicated to motor control – providing the appropriate support for BLDC motors, AC motors and switched reluctance motors.
Secondly, AVR 32-bit microcontrollers embed a digital signal processor (DSP) and a floating point unit (FPU) in select models, delivering the high performance required in advanced motor control solutions. Thirdly, many AVR microcontrollers include high-end PWM modules with dead-time insertion, fault management, synchronization with analog – making them a perfect choice for motor control.
In addition, AVR microcontrollers are offered in 105°C versions, as well as models up to 150°C, for a perfect match for washers with challenging temperature requirements. Meanwhile, Atmel provides an IEC 60730 Class B Library to support customers in the certification process, which dramatically speeds time to market. Plus, AVR 32-bit microcontrollers feature a multi-layer databus and DMA controller that make them a perfect fit for HMI applications where high bandwidth is required.
On the touch side, Atmel’s QTouch library offer designers the ability to easily add capacitive touch buttons, wheels and sliders – at no additional cost. In terms of reducing BOM, Atmel offers motor control and HMI touch in a single-chip, along with high power IOs that can directly drive LEDs and buzzers.
And last, but certainly not least, ZigBee PRO compatibility enables standards-compliant connectivity and smart metering, while node authentication capability supports smart meter infrastructure connections.
Interested in learning more? Additional information is available here.