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Stepper motor drives


A stepper motor drive is an electronic power converter to drive stepper motors; it is typically supplied by a stable 50/60 Hz supply.
Stepper motors contain a rotor equipped with permanent magnets, and are typically build in two topologies:
  • Bipolar stepper motors with two windings.
  • Unipolar stepper motors with one winding.
The motor position accuracy is given by winding control and the number of magnets in the rotor.
By supplying only one winding at a time, the stepper motor moves from magnet to magnet and operates in full-step mode to achieve the number of steps per revolution. If both windings are supplied with a specific PWM pattern at the same time, the stepper motor can achieve much higher accuracy because it can effectively position the rotor at various angles between two steps. This is called micro-stepping operation.

Application examples

Stepper motor drives provide solutions for industrial position control applications with low to medium power motors requiring very high control accuracy and repeatability, which can be further increased with position feedback. Stepper motor drives enable applications such as printers, motorized positioners and valves, and servo drives.

Key challenges

  • Position accuracy and repeatability through precision micro-stepping control

Our products and solutions

Our offer includes an extensive range of STM32 32-bit microcontrollers, STM32MPx microprocessors (MPUs), power discrete devices such as rectifiers, thyristors, IGBTs, power MOSFETs, and monolithic motor drivers with embedded micro-stepping control to help build scalable and compact power stages ranging up to a few hundred watts.
ST also provides an extensive portfolio of high-performance operational amplifiers and comparators, switching and linear regulators, MEMS inertial and environmental sensors, machine learning inertial measurement units, and a comprehensive range of software and hardware evaluation tools to help reduce development time and cost.