Open-Source Reference Board to Accelerate Medical Ventilator Design

By Tiera Oliver

Associate Editor

Embedded Computing Design

July 23, 2020


Open-Source Reference Board to Accelerate Medical Ventilator Design

Compact module to cut time to market for crucial medical equipment, combines TMC4671 integrated servo controller and TMC6100 universal high-voltage gate driver.

TRINAMIC Motion Control, now part of Maxim Integrated, announced the TMC4671+TMC6100-TOSV-REF design board, a BLDC servo driver capable of 12V to 36V with up to 6A RMS to accommodate medical ventilator and respiratory system design. To shorten design cycles, the open-source module features a session border controller (SBC) connector in Raspberry Pi style and space for a pressure sensor add-on board.

Trinamic's reference design board includes a Hall sensor interface and connectors for an optional pressure sensor add-on board. As a result, pressure data can be visualized on a Raspberry Pi with touch screen using the free firmware developed by Trinamic for the reference design board. Hardware and software are open-source, meeting the goals of the Trinamic Open-Source Ventilator (TOSV) project, which led to this reference design.

Thanks to the embedded TMC4671 servo controller IC, the module generates a pulse-width modulation (PWM) frequency and a current controller clock of 100 kHz independent of the microcontroller. According to the company, this approach reduces the system's current consumption by up to 15 percent, compared with a frequency of 25 kHz, without compromising performance.

An add-on board for I2C and analog sensors supports pressure sensors offered by various manufacturers. The TMC4671+TMC6100-TOSV-REF plugs into a single-board computer to access the user interface and high-level control functions. Following the example of the TOSV project, the module uses Raspberry Pi with touch screen display.

The complete TMC4671+TMC6100-TOSV-REF reference board is available now through Trinamic's distribution channels. All hardware, firmware, and software are open source under the MIT license.

Features include:

  • Single-axis BLDC servo driver for up to 6A RMS/phase
  • Supply Voltage 12V to 36V
  • Integrated over-voltage protection
  • HALL sensor interface
  • Onboard temperature sensor
  • Digital I/O and analog inputs
  • Add-on board connector for standard or custom sensor interface board
  • Raspberry Pi connector for external SBC

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Tiera Oliver, Associate Editor for Embedded Computing Design, is responsible for web content edits, product news, and constructing stories. She also assists with newsletter updates as well as contributing and editing content for ECD podcasts and the ECD YouTube channel. Before working at ECD, Tiera graduated from Northern Arizona University where she received her B.S. in journalism and political science and worked as a news reporter for the university’s student led newspaper, The Lumberjack.

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