Design of a Sensorless Commutation IC for BLDC Motors

Kuang Y. Cheng*, Ying-Yu Tzou

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


This paper presents the design and realization of a sensorless commutation integrated circuit (IC) for brushless dc motors (BLDCMs) by using mixed-mode IC design methodology. The developed IC can generate accurate commutation signals for BLDCMs by using a modified back-EMF sensing scheme instead of using Hall-effect sensors. This IC can be also easily interfaced with a microcontroller or a digital signal processor (DSP) to complete the closed-loop control of a BLDCM. The developed sensorless commutation IC consists of an analog back-EMF processing circuit and a programmable digital commutation control circuit. Since the commutation control is very critical for BLDCM control, the proposed sensorless commutation IC provides a phase compensation circuit to compensate phase error due to low-pass filtering, noise, and nonideal effects of back-EMFs. By using mixed-mode IC design methodology, this IC solution requires less analog compensation circuits compared to other commercially available motor control ICs. Therefore, high maintainability and flexibility can be both achieved. The proposed sensorless commutation IC is integrated in a standard 0.35-μm single-poly four-metal CMOS process, and the realization technique of this mixed-mode IC has been given. The proposed control scheme and developed realization techniques provide illustrative engineering procedures for the system-on-a-chip solution for advanced digital motor control. Simulation and experimental results have been carried out in verification of the proposed control scheme.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1365-1375
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Power Electronics
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2003


  • Brushless dc motors
  • Digital motor control
  • Mixed-mode IC design
  • Phase compensation
  • Sensorless commutation control
  • Speed estimation
  • System-on-a-chip

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