Drive up to 11 DC motors with one Arduino shield

January 2, 2018 | 18:00
Robots use many (small) DC motors, as do heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. Driving a DC motor is easy with two half-bridges that each control one side of the motor. Such a driver allows precise control speed of the motor and can make the motor spin in both directions.

The recent TL94112EL from Infineon is a 12-channel half-bridge driver capable of driving six DC motors in parallel mode or up to 11 motors in cascaded mode. Featuring an SPI interface, the user can daisy chain several of these devices to control a large number of motors over only three wires. Doing so makes it possible to create strings of motors in a similar way as the popular colourful LED strings.

Infineon TL94112EL arduino shield

An Arduino compatible shield with a TL94112EL on it is available, making experimenting with the motor driver accessible to electronics professionals as well as hobbyists.

Besides controlling motors the device can also control LEDs and relays. Half bridges can be put in parallel to control more powerful motors. Diagnosis features such as short circuit, open load, power supply failure and over-temperature for each half-bridge are available too.
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