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This paper proposes a nonlinear sliding-mode speed-control scheme for interior permanent-magnet synchronous motor (IPMSM) drives incorporating the maximum-torque-per-ampere trajectory. The drive uses an adaptive sliding-mode observer (SMO) for rotor-speed estimation. The global asymptotic stabilities of both the controller and observer are guaranteed by Lyapunov stability analysis. The very low speed and standstill performance of the drive is further enhanced by combining high-frequency signal injection with the SMO. Hence, the sensorless drive is capable of exhibiting high dynamic and steady-state performances over a wide speed range. Experimental results confirm the effectiveness of the proposed method.