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Chip enables total digital lighting control

Posted: 18 Feb 2013     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:digital controller  LED  fluorescent 

STMicroelectronics rolls the new STLUX385 programmable digital controller designed for lighting and power-supply applications, such as LED, fluorescent and HID (High-Intensity Discharge) lighting systems.

The controller has an STM8 microprocessor core and peripherals that simplify the design of the lighting power supply as well as the digital control of the lights.

Depending on factors such as the lighting technology used, the input power source (AC or DC), dimming requirements and safety or reliability issues, many different types of power conversion and control topologies are required in the current and emerging lighting applications and the STLUX385 is the first device able to address all of these via a single programmable chip.

The STLUX385 achieves this goal primarily by integrating six specially designed peripherals called SMED (State Machine, Event-Driven) circuits that interact with each other and with external signals via a programmable switching matrix to control the power delivered to the lighting elements. The SMEDs output with10.4ns resolution (up to 1.3ns using automatic dithering)

In addition to the specific application signals, the SMEDs can process external commands to turn the lights on/off or set the dimming level, diagnostic signals such as open- or short-circuit detected, or inputs from sensors in applications where the lighting is designed to adapt to ambient conditions.

For example, this opens the way towards intelligent LED street lamps that increase their brightness gradually as daylight fades and, conversely, automatically reduce their brightness as the sun rises instead of having only a full brightness or off-setting at predetermined times.

The STLUX385 allows sophisticated lighting systems that currently require the use of expensive external Digital Signal Processors to be produced with shorter time-to-market and lower costs. It allows light quality and its perception to be improved through dedicated algorithms and energy saving through high-efficiency conversion algorithms, while allowing new interactions between the user and the lighting system.

DALI control
In addition to the six SMED peripherals, the STLUX385 also integrates a hardware DALI (Digital Addressable Lighting Interface) Slave HW peripheral. Digitally controlled lighting is the key to energy saving in building and outdoor lighting installations and the DALI protocol is now in international use across the lighting industry. The STLUX385 is compatible with wired or wireless communications, simplifying the installation in large indoor and outdoor areas and reducing maintenance costs.

Other features include four Analogue Comparators synchronised with a 96MHz clock; six fast digital inputs synchronised with a 96MHz clock STM8 core-based (up to 20MIPS); 8-channel, 10bit ADC with programmable op-amp gain and sequencer; and it runs on a 3V to 5.5V DC voltage supply.

The STLUX385 is available now in a compact TSSOP38 package. It operates from -40ºC to 105ºC outdoor temperature range. The device is priced at Rs.109.29 ($2) in 1,000-unit quantities.

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