There is increasing interest in high-speed permanent magnet (PM) brushless dc motors for a wide range of applications. Back-emf is often utilized for sensorless operation of permanent magnet brushless dc motors, by detecting the emf zero crossings. However, in high-speed motors, the free-wheeling diode conduction can last more than 30edeg. This can obscure the zero crossings of the phase EMF; therefore, it is preferable to utilize the third harmonic emf instead of the phase emf. In this paper, some design aspects related to this high-speed sensorless operation are presented, including a special nonoverlapping winding arrangement and magnet segmenting technique. Finally, the experimental results confirmed the validity of the proposed design method.