System Design Using the TMC5160-BOB Evaluation Board

TMC5160-BOB motor controller

The Trinamic TMC5160-BOB development board

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band, Rush, has a popular song with the lines, “living in their pools they soon forget about the sea.” The song, “Natural Science”, points out how the big picture is obsolete to those blindly focused only on what is immediately in front of them. This sort of nearsightedness can inflict people in all types of endeavors—including those that design electronic circuit boards. 

In many cases, PCBA designers and engineers are focused on a single board’s development. At other times, however, designers are part of a team designing larger systems and an understanding of how their board integrates into the big picture is critical to optimize their particular tasks. A common example is ECAD-MCAD integration that often requires the utilization of 3D step files by both the electrical and mechanical engineer. 

When developing new components or system designs, it is important to prove functionality and capability prior to going into production. Often, reference designs are used that have been previously vetted to facilitate fast bring up or evaluation boards, such as breakout boards (BOBs), to enable quick evaluation of viability for the intended application. One such board is the TMC5160-BOB for motor control. Let’s take a look at this board and how to utilize it for efficient new product introduction (NPI). 

Applications and Features of the TMC5160-BOB

Trinamic, the manufacturer of the TMC5160-BOB, is known for creating evaluation boards—such as the TMC4671-EVAL—and kits for electronics developers. Similar to the TMC4671, the TMC5160 is primarily used for motor control, however, the most common applications, as given in the datasheet, include the following:  

TMC5160 Common Applications

  • Industrial drive systems, packing machines, and other factory equipment
  • Automatic pumps and valves
  • Sewing machines and textile equipment
  • Automation of office, laboratory, and medical machines
  • Robotics
  • 3D printers
  • CCTVs
  • ATMs

The device is a high-power controller with advanced features, designed to operate stepper motors silently while delivering maximum motor torque and high efficiency. This best-in-class controller contains a number of trademarked elements such as Trinamic’s SpreadCycle™ and StealthChop™  technologies and those listed below.

Special Features of the TMC5160

  • dcStep™ load dependent speed control
  • StallGuard2™ high precision sensorless motor load detection
  • CoolStep™ current control for energy savings up to 75%
  • Motion Controller with SixPoint™ ramp
  • Step/Dir Interface with microstep interpolation MicroPlyer™

In addition to the above, the controller is equipped with passive braking, full protection, and diagnostic capability. 

The TMC5160-BOB Layout and Components

The TMC5160 has a small IC form factor, which allows it to be used in a wide range of systems. Available packages are the TMC5160-TA—a TQFP48 (7 mm x 7 mm)—and the TMC5160-WA, a 48 pin QFN (8 mm x 8 mm).  Below, the default PCB layout for the BOB, which includes the controller, is shown.

TMC5160-BOB board layout

PCB layout design file for the TMC5160-BOB

The layout above assumes the usage of the components included in the default BOM.

Default BOM

The list of components below are the basis for the design given in the datasheet for the TMC5160-BOB. 

List of components for the TMC5160-BOB

Components used on the TMC5160-BOB

The components listed above are the basis for the data and information provided in the datasheet and user manuals provided by Trinamic. An example utilization for motor control is shown below. 

Motor control example

Example motor control design with the TMC5160-BOB

Although the TMC5160-BOB is a completely developed evaluation board, alternative or custom system designs can also be created.  

System Design Options With the TMC5160-BOB

In many cases, using the default design can be utilized to meet your application needs. The manufacturer provides a set of Gerber fabrication files for this purpose. In addition to the open source evaluation board, the manufacturer does provide a protoboard peripheral that can be used to test other external configurations. In the event that component changes need to be made, modifications can be done using a PCB design software tool. 

The best way to perform customizations for the TMC5160-BOB, especially where extensive PCBA layout is involved, is to use CAD files that can be easily added to your component library

How to download TMC5160-BOB design files for Allegro and OrCAD

Allegro and OrCAD design file download access for TMC5160-BOB

Not only are CAD files preferred by most CMs, but they also support common system design tasks such as ECADMCAD integration. Ultra Librarian has partnered with major component manufacturers like Trinamic and Cadence to make their reference designs easily accessible through Ultra Librarian’s online parts library.  

If you’re looking for CAD models for common components or evaluation boards, such as the TMC5160-BOB, Ultra Librarian helps by compiling all your sourcing and CAD information in one place. 

Working with Ultra Librarian sets up your team for success to ensure streamlined and error-free design, production, and sourcing. Register today for free.


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