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This paper describes a novel fault-tolerant matrix converter motor drive system which requires an appropriate control strategy and the application of an effective fault detection technique. Two types of fault-tolerant matrix converter, a direct matrix converter and an indirect matrix converter, are proposed for a permanent magnet synchronous motor drive against open-circuit faults in safety-critical applications. A fault-tolerant control strategy is developed in order to maintain the continuous operation of the drive system with satisfactory performance. A high-speed fault detection strategy for detecting and identifying the faulty open-circuited switches located in the fault-tolerant four-phase direct matrix converter is also proposed. Simulation and experimental results are shown to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed fault-tolerant matrix converters and the developed fault detection strategy applied to the motor drive system under faulty operating conditions.