Saturday, April 20, 2024

A Lighting Communications Development Platform for Designing Communications-Enabled Lighting Applications by Microchip

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This Lighting Communications Development Platform, which provides a universal lighting development platform for the creation of communications enabled lighting applications, enables lighting engineers to design intelligent lighting and control systems with a large array of Microchip’s 8, 16 and 32-bit PIC® microcontrollers; and analog, wireless, and human-interface solutions.

Microchip Technology Inc., a provider of microcontroller, mixed-signal, analog and Flash-IP solutions has launched its Lighting Communications Development Platform that provides a universal lighting development platform for the creation of communications enabled lighting applications. The platform consists of a main board and various communications interface adapters to support the development of DALI, DMX512A as well as future protocols (eg. RF). It is the full-featured, universal lighting development platform, which provides all the components required to create a DMX512A or DALI lighting network.

Major Components of This Platform

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[stextbox id=”info” caption=”Lighting Communications Development Platform Components”]The Lighting Communications Development Platform consists of:
•Main communications board
•Prototyping board
•Communications interface adapters
◦Future protocol support (eg. RF)[/stextbox]

Image Courtesy: Microchip
Image Courtesy: Microchip

The Starter Kit includes two main boards, two communications-interface adapters (DALI or DMX512A), one prototype board and the required cables/power supplies. Designers new to lighting communications can quickly and easily start creating connected lighting applications via a simple board-to-board network. This platform utilizes a single, low-cost 8-bit PIC MCU for the user interface, LED control and communications. Software development is based on the free Microchip DALI and DMX512A libraries, which are written in C and can be ported to any PIC microcontroller. Additionally, the kit features the Cree® XLamp® MC-E Colour LED, enabling high-lumen output in a small form factor along with a LEDnLIGHT collimator LLC19N optic and holder by Gaggione for high-quality colour mixing and tight beam control. Industry-standard lighting communication connectors and isolation devices are also included.

All boards are available individually or as Starter Kits to begin developing quickly. To further ease in development, code libraries for both DMX512A and DALI are available as a FREE download.

An Example Configuration Image Courtesy: Microchip
An Example Configuration Image Courtesy: Microchip

Requirements to Utilize This Platform
To utilize the communications platform, a minimum of two main or prototyping boards and two dapters are required – connected via appropriate cabling (eg. RJ45 patch cable, DMX512A 5-pin barrel cable or DALI 2-wire). The communication platform is compatible with commercially available DALI/DMX512A products and can be integrated into existing lighting networks during development or utilized with multiple communication platforms to simulate large lighting networks.

With the ability to create fully customised lighting solutions, this new platform greatly reduces costs and provides quicker time to market via Microchip’s free DMX512A and DALI software libraries. By utilizing a PIC MCU, lighting engineers can add numerous features enhancements into their smart lighting infrastructure designs, including increased efficiencies, reduced costs and an improved user experience. Additionally, the platform enables easy integration into an existing lighting communication network for the development of advanced network applications.

[stextbox id=”info” caption=”Requirements”]• Minimum of two main or prototyping boards
• Minimum two adapters
◦Connected via appropriate cabling:
▪RJ45 patch cable
▪DMX512A 5-pin barrel cable
▪DALI 2-wire[/stextbox]

“Microchip is collaborating with industry leaders in LED Lighting, such as Cree, Inc., at all levels of our product development and definition,” said Steve Drehobl, Vice President of Microchip’s MCU8 Division. “These unique relationships give us a greater understanding of what is required to accelerate the market transition to solid-state lighting. With our corporate focus on Intelligent Lighting and Control, we are providing solutions that allow solid-state lighting to realise its full potential by enabling a smart lighting infrastructure.”

Microchip’s Lighting Communications Development Platforms are available now, including the DALI Starter Kit (part # DV160214-1) and DMX512A Starter Kit (part # DV160214-2) options. Arrow Electronics is the first distributor, and is selling them at a 20% discount for a limited period only. For additional information, visit Microchip’s website.


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