Development platforms support DALI, DMX512 application worlds

May 02, 2012 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
NXP Semiconductors has introduced the industry's first development platforms for DALI and DMX512 wired lighting control systems based on the low-power 32-bit ARM Cortex-M0 processor. The new evaluation systems feature an NXP LPC1100XL series microcontroller, suited to handle the communication requirements for intelligent lighting projects using DALI and DMX. With the move, NXP rounds off its product offerings in control platforms for lighting and building control applications after having announced earlier similar products for the KNX technology.

In addition to the LPC1100XL microcontroller, the DMX512 system includes a master controller board with the LPC11U00, a flexible USB microcontroller, also based on the Cortex-M0. NXP will showcase a single system using DALI and DMX at LIGHTFAIR International next week in Las Vegas (booth 3335).

Both the DALI and DMX512 systems can be connected to any of NXP's lamp drivers using the PWM outputs of the Cortex-M0 processor. NXP will also offer an optional evaluation system to simplify RGB LED power stage design. 

The offering is intended to help lighting designers to upgrade existing control applications from 8-bit microcontrollers without increasing costs. In this context, the low-power options of the LPC1100 make the new platform an interesting solution for DALI lighting systems where energy is a critical factor. 

The first DALI and DMX512 evaluation systems available from NXP feature an LPC1114 microcontroller based on the Cortex-M0. The popular LPC1100XL series microcontroller offers a unique combination of features making it ideally suited for intelligent lighting projects using DALI, the Digital Addressable Lighting Interface, or DMX512.

  • Performance. With performance up to 45 DMIPS, the 50-MHz LPC1100XL series offers the resources required for a single MCU to code and decode DALI and DMX messages and generate PWM signals, with enough bandwidth available for the end application.
  • Low Power Consumption. With the introduction of the new extra-low-power LPC1100XL series, NXP provides the industry's lowest 32-bit active power consumption at 110 uA/MHz, and standby power consumption below 2 uA.

Storage of Scene Settings. Storing scene settings and other programs in non-volatile memory is straightforward, using EEPROM emulation in flash or by using integrated EEPROM, now available in the LPC11E00 series.


PWM Signals for Color and Dimming.  Offering up to four 16-bit and 32-bit timers, the LPC1100XL series can generate up to 11 PWM signals to control and dim the ballast.

  • Reduced Development Time.  Embedded lighting applications can be programmed in C,