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In this paper, a linear torque control strategy is first proposed for interior permanent magnet synchronous motor drives to fully utilize the reluctance torque and simplify the controller design. The proposed linear torque control strategy also extends the existing maximum torque per ampere control in the constant torque limit region up to the entire field-weakening region. It is found that in an intermediate speed region, called partial field-weakening region, the existing maximum torque per ampere control can still be applied under lighter load condition. In addition, the proposed control can also achieve the objective of minimum copper loss (i.e., maximum torque per ampere) for the entire speed range. Sound theoretical basis is given in the context. Moreover, an adaptive limiter is proposed for efficiently implementing the proposed control strategy over the entire speed range. Finally, a prototype is also constructed by using a fixed-point DSP TMS320F240 and some experimental results are given to verify the validity of the proposed control strategy.