Patent number 8816614 is assigned to
The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "A number of integrated circuits is currently available that include stepper motor controllers for various applications. One example is the L6226 DMOS driver for bipolar stepper motors of
"As can be seen from the datasheet mentioned above, it is common to include a kind of over-current protection into the motor controller in order to protect the controller and other components from thermal destruction due to short-circuits or the like. Upon detection of an over current the motor controller usually switches off the current and may signal an error.
"In many applications, in particular in automotive applications, it may be desired to localize the cause of the over-current as this may significantly reduce the efforts which are necessary to fix the problem if over-currents occur. Thus there is a need for a motor controller which provides over-current protection that allows the localization of the cause responsible for the over-current."
In addition to the background information obtained for this patent, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent: "The present disclosure relates to a circuit for controlling a load current through a coil connected to an output port of a transistor H-bridge including two low side transistors and two high side transistors. The circuit comprises a current sense circuit coupled to the H-bridge and configured provide a representation of the load current. A current regulator is configured to generate a modulated signal dependent on the representation of the load current and a current set-point, whereby the modulated signal has a duty-cycle. A gate control logic is provided for driving the individual transistors of the H-bridge on and off in accordance with the modulated signal and a direction signal so as to provide the load current to the coil. An over current detection circuit is coupled to each individual transistor and is configured to signal an over-current by providing an active over-current failure signal when a transistor current through the respective transistor exceeds a respective maximum value. Finally a duty cycle measuring circuit is configured to monitor the duty cycle of the modulated signal and to signal an open coil failure circuit when the duty cycle of the modulated signal exceeds a maximum duty cycle. A short-circuited coil failure may be signaled when the duty cycle of the modulated signal is equal to or falls below a minimum duty cycle."
URL and more information on this patent, see: Barth, Martin. Diagnosis of Over-Current Conditions in Bipolar Motor Controllers. U.S. Patent Number 8816614, filed
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