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EPC Launches 3-Phase BLDC Motor Drive for Drones, Robots and e-Bikes

EPC9167 400x275

February 23, 2022

EPC (Efficient Power Conversion) has announced the availability of the EPC9167, a three-phase BLDC motor drive inverter that uses the EPC2065 eGaN FET. The design aims to provide premium motor drive performance at a low cost for drones, robots and e-bikes.

The EPC9167 operates from an input supply voltage between 14V and 60V (nominal 48V) and has two configurations – standard unit and high-current version. The standard reference design board is a three-phase BLDC motor drive inverter board that features the EPC2065 eGaN FET, rated at 3.6 mΩ maximum RDS(on), with 80V maximum device voltage. The standard configuration uses single FETs for each switch position, and can deliver up to 20ARMS maximum output current.

The high-current configuration, the EPC9167HC, uses two paralleled FETs per switch position, and can deliver up to 42 Apk (30 ARMS) maximum output current.

EPC said both versions contain all of the necessary critical function circuits to support a complete motor drive inverter, including gate drivers, regulated auxiliary power rails for housekeeping supplies, voltage, and temperature sense, accurate current sense, and protection functions. The boards also feature the ST Microelectronics STDRIVEG600 smart motor drive GaN half-bridge driver. The EPC9167 boards measure 130 mm by 100 mm, including the connector. They can be configured for multiphase DC-DC conversion, and support both phase and leg shunt current sensing.

EPC added that the benefits of a GaN-based motor drive are exhibited with these reference design boards, including lower distortion for lower acoustic noise, lower current ripple for reduced magnetic loss, lower torque ripple for improved precision, and lower filtering for lower cost. The lower weight and size allow the drive to be incorporated into the motor housing, supporting low inductance and higher power density motors.

“GaN-based inverters increase motor efficiency while reducing their cost and delivering the same performance as an expensive motor using a silicon MOSFET-based inverter,” said Alex Lidow, CEO of EPC. “This enables motor systems that are smaller, lighter, less noisy, have more torque, more range, and greater precision.”

EPC said it provides full demonstration kits, which include interface boards that connect the inverter board to the controller board development tool for fast prototyping to reduce design cycle times. The EPC9167 is priced at $611.58, and the EPC9167HC is priced at $678.78. Both are immediately available through Digi-Key here.


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