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Use 8bit MCUs for cost effective, efficient HBLED control

Posted: 31 May 2011     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:High-brightness LEDs  automotive industry  microcontroller 

High-brightness light emitting diodes (HBLEDs) are rapidly gaining popularity in the automotive, consumer, and industrial markets. Brilliant colours, long life, and energy efficiency are some of the reasons why high-brightness LEDs are becoming the future of lighting applications.

In the automotive industry, the HBLED technology differentiates vehicles in terms of styling, safety, and fuel economy, going from simple switch illumination and LCD backlighting through very high-brightness headlamp applications.

Controlling luminosity of HBLEDs efficiently and reliably is not an easy task—power stage efficiency, thermal design, and electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) are some of the most critical design challenges. Typically, dedicated constant current drivers (CCD) are used for driving HBLED strings, overcoming most design issues and simplifying the design. However, CCDs are usually more expensive than a solution based on a microcontroller.

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