Automotive LED drivers and controllers for advanced vehicle lighting applications

07-02-2020 | ON Semiconductor | Automotive Technologies

ON Semiconductor offers a new family of four devices that promote the high levels of performance and innovative functionality that vehicle manufacturers and consumers now demand from automotive exterior and interior lighting. Targeted especially at low power solid-state lighting, the new family includes two LED drivers and two current controllers.


In the pursuance of improved road safety, vehicle manufacturers are shifting away from the simple ‘on/off’ operation to advanced systems that include movement and variable intensity within rear combination lamps, fog lamps, turn signals, and other externally modulated LED clusters to provide clearer and highly visible warnings to other road users.


The NCV7685 and NCV7683 integrate 12 and eight linear programmable current sources, respectively, allowing multiple strings of LEDs to be driven with up to 100mA per channel. The devices offer an array of configurability options, comprising daisy-chaining, current regulation, illumination level control, sequencing functionality, and channel combination. The NCV7685 incorporates an 8-bit I2C interface with CRC8 error detection for individual output current adjustment via PWM, and for advanced diagnostics - comprising detection of an open LED string or undervoltage condition – a dedicated diagnostic pin is also offered. The NCV7685 can be powered with a DC-DC controller and/or LDO voltage regulator, depending upon particular design demands.


The NCV7691 provides a regulated wide current range for driving LEDs in one or multiple strings, with just an external NPN bipolar transistor and a feedback resistor. The driver gives design flexibility to add additional single channels to multichannel systems, and maintains a dimming function via its PWM input. The NCV7691 comprises open string, short circuit, and thermal shutdown, providing safe and reliable operation of essential lighting. The derivative NCV7692 allows a faster response time and a lowered threshold for open load detection.


“With the performance and functionality now possible with LED lighting, and demanded by automakers and consumers alike, sophisticated lighting drivers and controllers are fundamental to help turn ideas into reality,” said Jim Alvernaz, Automotive Products Division at ON Semiconductor. “In addition to important safety gains, LED-based automotive lighting creates exciting opportunities for vehicle engineers to reinforce branding and identity.”

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