Monday, June 17, 2024

Standalone LED Driver and Controller Solution For Automotive Lighting

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  • Inova Semiconductor’s offering provides design flexibility for next-generation automotive lighting systems
  • Comes with attractive features such as built-in components, easy programmability, cost effectiveness and more

Inova Semiconductors, a fabless semiconductor manufacturer now offers its LED driver/controller chip, that has been a part of smart ISELED LED modules, for automotive lighting applications. Both the integrated LED modules and the standalone solution chip facilitate innovative solutions in ambient lighting, roof lighting, display backlight and functional lighting.

The Inova INLC10AQ chip (originally known as INLC100Q16)  is very flexible, fast in response and easy to program, providing support for functions such as colour/brightness control and low light dimming. It calibrates an LED’s brightness, while the dominant wavelength provides temperature compensation for red LEDs and features a built-in one-time programmable (OTP) memory for storing calibration and compensation data values, eliminating the need for LED binning. The driver & controller chip includes a built-in oscillator with a low dropout regulator (LDO), thus removing the need for additional external components. It only requires a single supply voltage and also has an  integrated temperature sensor, and comprehensive diagnostic  features.

Design custom LED arrangements

Custom LED chains can be built by daisy-chaining several INLC10AQ devices (up to 4079), controlled through differential bidirectional serial bus with 2 Mbps and Cyclic Redundancy Check (CRC). The chip provides three independent, constant current sinks, each controlled via PWM (488 Hz, 12 bit). In an LED chain, each device is individually addressable via the serial bus, using a proprietary bus protocol.

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When implementing daisy chained INLC10AQ devices, the communication between the microcontroller and the first device is single ended. The INLC10AQ can also be used as a converter that is placed near the microcontroller. The device then converts the single ended signal to a differential signal, connecting to the first LED in the chain. The converter device can also be combined with other ISELED products that contain the INLC10AQ controller and RGB LEDs in one single package.

No need for complex wiring of sensors

Besides driving smart LEDs, the outputs to 3 LEDs can also be used with a built in ADC which can sense the applied voltage at the pins. This allows the connection of sensors such as proximity, touch and pressure, or knobs to the LED chain and then transfers the data via the ISELED bus back to the controller, thus avoiding additional wiring for the sensors.

The INLC10AQ is a mixed signal device in a 16-lead, WETQFN package with deimensions of 3mm x 3mm x 0.9mm. The operating temperature range is from -40 degrees Celsius to 105 degrees Celsius.

The device is AEC-Q100 qualified and automotive test specifications and available in volume production.


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