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A novel controller design for a sensorless permanent magnet synchronous motor (PMSM) drive system, which is fed by a matrix converter is proposed. First, a rotor position estimating technique is proposed to obtain the shaft angle of the motor. Next, a two-degree-of-freedom proportional-integral (PI) controller, including a forward-loop controller and a load compensator, is proposed to improve the performance of the system. The whole drive system has satisfactory transient responses and load disturbance rejection abilities. In addition, the parameters of the PI controller are calculated by using a frequency-domain parameter optimization technique. Only simple algebraic computation is required. Finally, a 32-bit TMS320C40 digital signal processor is used to execute the sensorless technique and all of the control loops, including a current-loop and a speed-loop. Several simulated and experimental results are shown to validate the theoretical analysis.