Multichannel RGB-LED Driver For Automotive Smart Interior Lighting

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  • Melexis’ new RGB-LED driver IC allows high-speed communication for enabling intelligent automotive lighting and enhancing the latest safety features
  • All individual LEDs are controlled separately to produce consistent lighting effects under different operating conditions

Many car manufacturers nowadays are seeking for animated lighting into the cabin, as a way of conveying important driver-assistance prompts and vehicle-status information. Current designs incorporate an RGB-LED lightbar for communication with the driver, through colour-coding, colour-changing and blinking sequences. However, there are engineering challenges regarding colour consistency across all the LEDs in the lightbar and ensuring they all change together, at the same time.

To address this situation, Melexis, a global microelectronics engineering company, has launched the MLX81116, a multichannel RGB-LED driver, which supports the MeLiBu™ high-speed communication IP for enabling intelligent automotive lighting and facilitates in enhancing the latest safety features.

The MeLiBu™ controls all individual LEDs separately in the lightbar to produce lighting effects as required by the vehicle. The intelligent RGB-LED controller also provides real-time compensation of any LED colour drift caused by environmental changes.

The MeLiBu™ communication interface uses the CAN-FD physical layer, which ensures robustness, reliability and high speed (up to 2 Mbit). Support for dedicated optical parameters allows accurate colour-mixing with a delta UV of 1 per cent that ensures no distinguishable differences between individual LEDs in the lightbar. Additionally, the intelligent high resolution for temperature-related colour drift helps in maintaining a consistent and non-distracting user experience under all operating conditions.

The MLX81116 driver IC has an extremely wide dimming range that allows optimal brightness adjustment for daytime and night driving. The IC fulfils automotive ISO 26262 functional safety requirements up to safety integrity level B (ASIL B) and also features low EMI emission and high immunity, thanks to the use of the CAN-FD physical layer, which eases compliance with applicable EMC regulations.

“Car makers need a robust solution capable of supporting advanced light functionalities,” said Michael Bender, Product Line Manager Embedded Lighting at Melexis. “MLX81116, the first in our product family to leverage MeLiBu™, is a reliable and cost-effective way to address this. We are excited to see leading manufacturers already include it in their new models to deliver a safer driving experience.”


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