Your Order Cart is empty.

AB-023 : Miniature Motor Driver Resource

Overview

Welcome to our Motor Driver Resource section. Here we have suggested some chips that are suitable for driving our motors and linear resonant actuators. Please note this is a simple guide and you should always refer to the product's datasheet for accurate ratings and design advice.

Whilst most DC motors are essentially driven with the same principle (by applying a DC voltage), these chips boast a host of different features. Some accept analogue inputs, others PWM or I2C, H-bridges will enable you to easily change the direction of rotation and haptic drivers are specially designed for haptic feedback applications. We've split our guide into the following categories:

Transistors

Transistors act like an electrical switch, enabling a low current or low voltage source (like a microcontroller) to drive a motor. By closing the switch the transistor can connect the motor to a suitable power supply where it has access to sufficient voltage and current. They can also be used with PWM signals to vary the level of voltage.

There are different types of transistor, here we suggest two MOSFETs; one n-channel (switch closed with high voltage at base) and on p-channel (switch closed with low voltage at base). Thousands of different devices exist, far too many to list here. We have previously used the ones below in-house.

Manufacturer

Product Code

Type

Output Range

Link

ON Semiconductor

MGSF1N02L

n-channel

20 V, 750 mA

ON Semiconductor Website

ON Semiconductor

NTR4101

p-channel

20 V, 3.2 A

ON Semiconductor Website

H-Bridges

Built using 4 transistors, H-bridges enable you to easily reverse the polarity of the applied voltage to change the rotation direction. This makes them great for gearmotor applications, or anything where you might want need to rotate the motor both ways.

You can either build it yourself using the MOSFETs above with a reference circuit, or purchase a single discrete chip.

There are many different types of design, including ‘half bridges’ and ‘dual H-bridges’. The chips below are all full H-bridges and a couple are ‘dual’ (can drive two motors). Again, there are many more available.

Manufacturer

Product Code

Type

Output Range

Link

STMicroelectronics

L298

Dual Full Bridge Driver

46 V, 4 A

STMicroelectronics Website

STMicroelectronics

L6201

DMOS Full Bridge Driver

60 V, 5A

STMicroelectronics Website

Texas Instruments

DRV8837 ( / 38 / 39)

Full Bridge Driver

11 V, 1.8 A

TI Website

Texas Instruments

DRV8832 ( / 30 / 33)

Full Bridge Driver

6.8 V, 1 A

TI Website

Texas Instruments

DRV8800

Full Bridge Driver

36 V, 2.8 A

TI Website

Freescale

MC33886

Full Bridge Driver

40 V, 5.2 A

Freescale Website

Allegro MicroSystems

A3908

Full Bridge Driver

5.5 V, 500 mA

Allegro Website

Allegro MicroSystems

A4973

Full Bridge Driver

50 V, 1.5 A

Allegro Website

Vibration Motor Driver IC

There are a small selection of components that are specifically designed to operate vibration motors with a simple on / off drive pattern. They operate in a similar method to the transistor chips above, but provide a different output voltage to the supply voltage - much like low-dropout voltage regulator (worth researching).

When using batteries, the supply voltage will vary depending upon the battery's level of charge - when using a transistor this results in a varying performance from the vibration motor. These ICs will enable you to acheive consistant vibration motor performance across the entire battery range.

Some are fixed and some are adjustable, but most can be controlled by PWM to vary the speed.

These can of course be used to drive normal DC and gearmotors too as they output a DC voltage, however some of them are specifically branded for the vibration motor market. Some users will get better performance from the H-bridges listed above or Haptic Feedback Chips, so be sure to check these other lists.

Manufacturer

Product Code

Type

Output Range

Link

ON Semiconductor

NCP5426

TSOP-5

2 V, 150 mA

ON Semiconductor Website

Maxim

MAX1749

SOT23

6.5 V, 120 mA

Maxim Website

Haptic Feedback Chips

These are the most complex chips in this section. Many of them are able to drive both eccentric rotating mass vibration motors and linear resonant actuators, have a variety of drive methods, include a range of impressive additional features and some even store haptic waveforms - all on a single component.

For top-end haptic feedback performance you will need one of these devices along with a high performance haptic actuator.

Manufacturer

Product Code

Type

Output Range

Link

Texas Instruments

DRV8601

ERM / LRA

5.5 V, 400 mA

TI Website

Texas Instruments

DRV2603

ERM / LRA

5.5 V

TI Website

Texas Instruments

DRV2604L

ERM / LRA

5.5 V

TI Website

Texas Instruments

DRV2605

ERM / LRA

5.5 V

TI Website

Fairchild Semiconductor

FAH4820

ERM

3.6 V, 500 mA

Fairchild Website

Fairchild Semiconductor

FAH4830

ERM

3 V, 500 mA

Fairchild Website

Fairchild Semiconductor

FAH4840

LRA

2 V, 200 mA

Fairchild Website

Brushless Motor Driver

Our brushless motors (vibration and normal) are more difficult to drive compared to the brushed DC varieties above. They are electrically commutated, which means the driver activates the different internal coils depending upon the position of the motor to maintain a constant direction of rotation. Of course the benefit is a greatly improved lifetime as the precious metal brushes (which wear out) are removed.

All of the chips below are sensorless brushless vibration motor drivers and may require some external components, typically 3 resistors between the driver outputs and motor terminals. Note the 910-101 does not require an additional driver as it already has an internal IC.

Manufacturer

Product Code

Type

Output Range

Link

Texas Instruments

DRV11873

Sensorless

12 V, 1.5 A

TI Website

Texas Instruments

DRV10866

Sensorless

5 V, 680 mA

TI Website

NXP

TDF5140A

Sensorless

20 V, 800 mA

NXP Website