Synapticon, a company that develops sensor- and actuator-focused embedded systems, has announced its new SOMANET electronic mobility solution at the Embedded World conference. Specifically designed for deployment in LEVs (Light Electric Vehicles), the modular control solution consists of a new built-in Bluetooth 4.0 LE + CAN module for communications, the new CORE module CA 11 and a Drive DC 5000 IFM (Interface Module).
SOMANET is a product line from Synapticon´s Dynarc platform for cyber-physical systems. All SOMANET solutions are based on three components: COM, CORE and IFM. The communication modules (COM) allow SOMANET nodes to communicate with each other as well as with any other devices that are connected to the local network or the Internet. In the core of each SOMANET node there is a processor module (CORE), which is equipped with one or more XMOS and ARM processors. Local interface modules (IFM) are the connection to the physical world for each SOMANET node. They fill the hardware gap between motors or sensors and their control processor.
The new Bluetooth communication module is extremely energy efficient and can be used for the integration of smartphones for remote maintenance and updates of the control software via Internet as well as for navigation etc. A CAN bus interface also allows control of the battery management system (BMS) and mechanical HMI components (Human Machine Interface).
The new CA 11 CORE module consists of seven XMOS logical cores and an ARM Cortex M3 core. The XMOS cores allow the parallel execution of multiple software threads and offer native real-time determinism. This makes them suitable for real-time applications where sensor data, motor control and communication are simultaneously processed. A XMOS core is more than a microcontroller and can be used as a substitute for FPGAs (Field Programmable Gate Array) and DSPs (Digital Signal Processor). The ARM core makes it possible to adapt standard software for specific applications, or to integrate the customer´s existing software without having to write a new port. The real-time operating system FreeRTOS is designed to run on the ARM core.
The IFM module Drive DC 5000 can provide up to 5 kW continuous power at a system voltage of 48 volts for the high-precision operation of brushless DC (BLDC) motors. Potential fields of application include mobile robots and other light electric vehicles.
“The target group of the now showcased package – consisting of OM, Core and IFM – are manufacturers of electric vehicles and other low-voltage drive systems. For the volume production of LEVs subsequent to a prototype or small batch production based on the standard modules, we also offer modified, individual, cost-effective and integrated solutions for the series production,” explains Nikolai Ensslen, Managing Director of Synapticon.
Synapticon´s own FOC implementation (Field-Oriented Control) allows control cycles up to 100 kHz. This high level of control precision provides maximum control quality and very sensitive motor control. This leads to high energy efficiency, longer battery life and greater range of the LEV, and low heat generation and preserving of the motor. The system is also very compact and supports applications up to 5 kW in a very small space. Overall, this solution enables accurate data capture and improved data processing between sensors and motor.
Ensslen adds: “Our SOMANET platform is a cheap alternative for the development of e-mobility solutions. It allows a faster product development and thus faster time-to-market. It also ensures greater efficiency both in development and production. During the development of this solution, we have been working with OEMs and automotive suppliers. Now, our new package, consisting of three powerful components, is available for all players in this highly innovative industry.”