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The importance of permanent magnet (PM) motor technology and its impact on electromechanical drives has significantly increased: There was 165% PM brushless motor market growth between 2005 and 2008 in comparison with 29% overall motion control market growth in the same period of time.
It is expected that the development of electric machines, mostly PM machines and associated power electronics in the next few years will be stimulated by large scale applications such as (a) computer hardware, (b) residential and public applications, (c) land, sea and air transportation and (d) renewable energy generation. The development of PM machines is, however, not limited to these four major areas of application since PM machines are vital apparatus in all sectors of modern society, such as industry, services, trade, infrastructure, healthcare, defense, and domestic life. For example, worldwide demand on PM vibration motors for mobile phones increases at least 8% each year and global shipment of hard disk drives (HDD) with PM brushless motors increases about 24% each year.
In the last two decades new topologies of high torque density PM motors, high speed PM motors, integrated PM motor drives, and special PM motors have gained maturity. The largest PM brushless motor in the world rated at 36.5 MW, 127 rpm was built in 2006 by DRS Technologies, Parsippany, NJ, U.S.A. (as shown below)