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Multi-channel LIN RGB LED controller takes ambient lighting to next level

Multi-channel LIN RGB LED controller takes ambient lighting to next level

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By Christoph Hammerschmidt



Melexis is enhancing the design of creative and animated automotive lighting by introducing the MLX81118 multi-channel LIN RGB LED controller with 24 LED driver outputs. Capable of driving eight RGB channels, the MLX81118 reduces the bill of materials and simplifies the design of cutting-edge interior and exterior lighting. In addition, the MLX81118 features a new dual input-voltage capability that significantly lowers LED power dissipation for LIN applications.

The Belgian microelectronics engineering company has extended its LIN RGB LED controller family by introducing the multi-channel MLX81118 for ambient lighting and animated lighting applications within a LIN ecosystem. With 24 outputs, each capable of sourcing up to 60mA, the MLX81118 can drive eight RGB channels. Independent PWM control, configurable up to 16-bit resolution, allows the controller to achieve any color point and brightness level.

The MLX81118 complements the company’s MLX81115 and MLX81113 to address multiple different applications. Unlike the MLX81113, which is mainly used for classical ambient lighting functions, the MLX81118 is suitable for various applications where multiple RGB LEDs need to be controlled via one LIN node within one or several modules, for example, in door trim parts or dashboard applications. The multi-channel support means that the MLX81118 is also suitable for light animations controlled via LIN.

In addition to reducing the bill of materials and simplifying the design of multi-channel interior and exterior lighting systems, the MLX81118 also lowers LED power dissipation thanks to its new dual input-voltage capability that optimizes the driving voltage for the connected LEDs. This helps to simplify thermal management and enhance module reliability while also reducing power consumption.

Built-in direct and indirect temperature monitoring permits temperature compensation for all channels to ensure stable color points over the full temperature operating range, from -40 °C to 125 °C.

Building on the proven features of the company’s LIN RGB LED controllers, the new MLX81118 contains a complete LIN system, including transceiver and protocol handler for connecting LED modules to the vehicle’s existing LIN network. The LIN interface is compliant with LIN2.x and SAE J2602 standards as well as ISO 18987 and supports auto-addressing according to the bus-shunt method.

LED control is handled with Melexis’ MLX16 FX 16-bit RISC microcontroller and the on-chip memory subsystem that includes 2 KB of RAM and 32 KB of Flash memory for the application and LED calibration coefficients as well as real EEPROM for additional customer data. The MLX81118 is also compliant with ISO 26262 requirements, allowing use in functional-safety classified systems.

Manufactured using advanced silicon-on-insulator (SOI) technology, the MLX81118 features high-voltage I/Os and can operate from a supply voltage as low as 4 V for consistent performance as the vehicle supply voltage fluctuates, such as during stop-start operation. Built-in protection features include 28 V jump start, and battery overvoltage and under-voltage detection.

A complete toolchain including evaluation board, In-circuit-emulator, and C-Compiler package is available to help accelerate application development. Essential software including a LIN driver, color mixing, math library, and IC initialization routines are also available.

www.melexis.com/MLX81118

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