Sunday, May 26, 2024

LED Driver Reference Design For Automotive Lights

The design’s adaptability and robust features make it a good choice for developers looking to create reliable, dynamic lighting solutions in automotive and other demanding industrial environments.

The automotive lighting industry faces increasingly sophisticated requirements for dynamic performance in tail lamp systems. In response, this reference design introduces a comprehensive solution tailored for tail lamps in vehicles, incorporating advanced components to manage and enhance functionality. This holistic approach to tail lamp design includes the integration of a stop lamp (SL), turn lamp (TL), and side mark lamp (SML), each independently driven by one of three MPQ7221 devices. This reference design is ideally suited for use in automotive tail lights and turning lights and extends to broader applications in automotive power systems and even industrial systems. 

The reference design by Monolithic power consists of the MPQ7221, a pivotal element is a 16-channel current sink LED driver. It supports a broad input voltage range from 4.5V to 16V, catering to diverse automotive power systems. Each channel’s LED current can be precisely controlled up to 80mA through an external resistor, allowing for detailed customization of the light output. This driver also offers sophisticated control features including 6-bit analog dimming and 12-bit pulse-width modulation (PWM) dimming per channel. These features are vital for achieving the desired visual effects and intensity levels in automotive tail lights, particularly as they allow for adjustable PWM dimming frequencies at 220Hz, 250Hz, 280Hz, or 330Hz.

It enhances system reliability and performance with its integrated fault detection capabilities, such as LED open and short protection, under-voltage lockout (UVLO), and over-temperature protection (OTP). These safeguards ensure that the lighting system operates effectively under various conditions without failure. Additionally, the device features an I2C interface with up to 10 different configurable addresses via an external resistor, facilitating complex and dynamic lighting effects while enabling communication with other system components.

The design includes a buck converter (MPQ4323) and a low-dropout (LDO) regulator (MPQ2013A) for stable and efficient power supply. A microcontroller unit (MCU) (KEA8) directs the tail lamps’ dynamic aspects, syncing lighting changes based on vehicle behavior and driver inputs. The chosen packaging for the design is a QFN-24 (4mm x 4mm) with wettable flanks, not only facilitates robust soldering but is also AEC-Q100 Grade 1 certified, underscoring its suitability for harsh automotive environments. This packaging ensures that the device can withstand the thermal and mechanical stresses typical in automotive applications.

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Monolithic Power has tested this reference design. It comes with a bill of materials (BOM), schematics, etc. You can find additional data about the reference design on the company’s website. To read more about this reference design, click here.

Akanksha Gaur
Akanksha Gaur
Akanksha Sondhi Gaur is a journalist at EFY. She has a German patent and brings a robust blend of 7 years of industrial & academic prowess to the table. Passionate about electronics, she has penned numerous research papers showcasing her expertise and keen insight.

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