ST-MC-SUITE is the first online tool in the industry to help enthusiasts and professional download documentation and resources for their motor control setup in just a few clicks. It positions itself as a stepping stone for designers that want to gather crucial information before they open their offline development tools to start configuring their systems and writing their application. Until now, they had to go to every product page, look for the data sheets, manuals, bills of material, schematics, or guides, which is time-consuming and potentially confusing, especially if teams are dealing with a variety of setups. With ST-MC-SUITE, users can now save multiple configurations to keep things better organize and download everything in a single zip file, making this operation a lot more efficient.
The ST-MC-SUITE announcement is highly symbolic because we are launching the new online tool alongside X-CUBE-MCSDK 5.3, the latest version of our Motor Control SDK that offers firmware libraries in C and a graphical user interface to facilitate application development and interactions with STM32CubeMX. The new version adds support for our new STM32G0 family of microcontrollers, our first mainstream MCUs in 90 nm, and also includes FreeRTOS, as well as low level and hardware abstraction layers that are now directly available from Motor Control Workbench. ST-MC-SUITE is an excellent addition to engineers’ workflow because as X-CUBE-MCSDK becomes more powerful and compatible with a wider variety of components, it was essential to help our users demystify motor control applications to jump-start their projects.
Making Motor Control More Accessible
Our desire to make motor control devices more accessible starts with our passion for education, which, in this case, is evident by the first links users get to see on ST-MC-SUITE’s home page. Before they even select an option, they will find a list of upcoming events and seminars, our latest news, but most of all key links to introductory pieces, our forums, and reference documents, as well as Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), to assist enthusiasts or professionals who want to understand motor control better. Those who subscribe to our newsletter know that we regularly hold webinars and local events to walk attendees through our development boards and software tools to empower them to create the products they want to build rather than those that they can put together. ST-MC-SUITE builds on this tradition to offer even more relevant resources.
Making Motor Design Friendlier
The second option when users click the “OK, let’s get started!” button leads them to the creation of a setup for a BLDC (Brushless DC) or Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motors (PMSM) using FOC (Field-Oriented Control). It was important for our teams behind this project to focus on one popular motor design and offer the best tool possible at launch, which explains why it is currently the only design available. However, as we update ST-MC-SUITE, we will provide a greater variety of motor types, which is another testament to the fact that this project lives and breathes in rhythm with our innovations and communities.
The online tool also segments a setup into building blocks to help users visualize the type of system they are creating. There’s first the “Software + Power & Control” layer where you will choose an embedded software package and relating documents, such as application notes, users manuals, product specifications, and license agreement, among others.
The next step is to choose the application’s control board and the power board and their relevant documents. Users may, therefore, get all these resources from the same “Software + Power & Control” category or choose “Software + Motor Control Kits” if they want to use a Nucleo pack for instance. Finally, we also offer a “Software + Inverters” option for motor designs that will connect to the mains in the event of high-power applications. Each segment offers filters to narrow down a selection, so even if designers don’t have a specific part number in mind, they can use the tool to know which device will work best for the application they are trying to build.
Collecting Motor Control Resources Better
For each block, users can select the documentation that they want to include in their bundle, and at the end of the process, they can download a zip file that will centralize everything they requested. We also offer links to purchase boards and daughter cards, and it is possible to save a setup for future reference. ST-MC-SUITE will thus become the birthplace of many projects by offering knowledge, training, documentation, and a structure that can help engineers focus on what they want to do rather than lose time hunting for software, components, and information.