What chip is in the spark max?

What is the chip in the spark max?

Which chip?

This is the one picture I have of the inside:

It’s obviously pretty blurry, and it doesn’t have a picture of the daughter board (where the actual driver chip is). But I can tell that it’s STM32 of some kind. I’ll try to get more pics tonight.

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It is a STM32F302

I think it is the CC model but I can’t read my photo that clearly.


Here are some pictures of a new SparkMax controller. The main mcu is indeed the STM32F302 CCT6 and the driver is a TI DRV8320S.


Is that flux residue I’m seeing? I’ve never cracked one open.

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I think so - and there’s some sort of thin adhesive pad on top of the main chips (the whit-ish squares). Made it a little tricky to get a good image.

The STM32F302 is a really nice chip. STM makes it easy (relative) to program.

CAN built in
Motor control libraries included
Great GPIO

Really cool chipset.

The Falcon 500 uses some sort of dsPIC33 chip I think. That’s also a great chip with built in motor control and CAN, however it’s automotive grade and popular in that space so i think it was hit hard by the chip shortage


what specification would make the falcon’s chip “automotive grade” in comparison?

It is a different temperature rating plus stress testing of the design to some automotive standards. This brief article gives a short overview.


If that’s flux, it’s a crapload of it and I would expect to see it everywhere. My guess is that we’re seeing a selectively applied conformal coating on parts with small pin pitches to protect from moisture or debris and limit dendritic growth.


IIRC, this material is to assist with heat transfer to/through the case.

Is that a debug interface I see on the right side? :smiley:

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It’s not a thermal pad - the chips are not in contact with any surface (just in open air).

Are you talking about the button or ports? The button is brake/coast mode (for when you aren’t using CAN). I believe the ports may be for custom circuits but I have no idea other than guesses.

The labeled though holes have labels that suggest that it is a SWD interface. That interface can be used for debugging/modifying firmware.

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It is a thermal Pad. Different chips need to be heat sunk differently, that specific MOSFET package heat sinks into the bottom of the chip through the PCB.


What you see in this image is conformal coating not flux residue. The pads are for conduction isolation to the metal case while still having good thermal conductivity.


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Yeah it is, DIO and CLK are connected to SWDIO and SWCLK respectively.