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LED driver controls multiple LEDs, supports animated light

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By Christoph Hammerschmidt


Melexis’ MLX81143 automotive LED driver integrates 21 separate LED driver circuits and improves the power management of the full system. The device has an extremely wide dimming range allowing optimal brightness adjustment during night and day. The company’s proprietary MeLiBu interface makes it possible to drive up to 3000 LEDs in a car at the same time. The system enables dynamic safety warnings and communication with the driver.

Car manufacturers continue to adopt animated lighting in the cabin to provide important information such as driver-assistance prompts and vehicle status updates. Changing colors and different blinking sequences enhance messages in need of driver attention. However, this presents engineering challenges, such as maintaining consistent color across all of the LEDs and implementing simultaneous light changes.

The MLX81143 addresses such challenges by integrating the Melexis CAN over UART MeLiBu (patented license-free) solution. This high-speed communication interface controls individual LEDs to implement the lighting effects defined by the vehicle’s systems. The intelligent RGB-LED controller also provides real-time compensation of any color drift caused by environmental changes, and color-mixing accuracy of less than 1% to eliminate any distinguishable differences between LEDs.

MeLiBu technology is already being used by multiple global car manufacturers, Melexis says. The MeLiBu communication interface employs a CAN-FD physical layer to deliver robust and reliable performance at up to 2 Mbit/s speeds. Combining UART with the MeLiBu protocol guarantees an intelligent and high resolution operation, with temperature-related color drift being mitigated. A consistent and non-distracting user experience is maintained under all operating conditions.

The Melexis MLX81143 is AEC-Q100 qualified and ASIL compliant. It meets ISO 26262 functional safety requirements and supports ASIL B integration. The architecture of the MLX81143 helps designers to meet EMC requirements. It exhibits low EMI emissions and high levels of EMI immunity.

The MLX81143 is the third product offering from Melexis to integrate MeLiBu. According to the company, this technology enables a scalable approach of the lighting system as well as new application functions. The product at hand reduces the amount of silicon required per application by supporting higher LED numbers. It also improves power management, thanks to smart options integrated in the IC.

www.melexis.com/MLX81143


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