Multichannel RGB-LED driver brings smart interior lighting to life

02-09-2020 | Melexis | Automotive Technologies

Melexis has introduced the MLX81116, a multichannel RGB-LED driver. The device supports the MeLiBu high-speed communication IP to facilitate intelligent animated automotive lighting concepts. The technology has already been employed by manufacturers to enhance the safety features of their newest models.

Current design thinking envisions employing an RGB-LED lightbar to communicate to the driver, through colour changing, colour coding, and blinking sequences. Key engineering hurdles include managing consistent colour over all the LEDs in the lightbar and guaranteeing they all change together, at the same time. The device satisfies this through its unique high-speed communication interface IP, MeLiBu. The MeLiBu controls all LEDs separately in the lightbar to create the lighting effects required by the vehicle. The intelligent RGB-LED controller also gives real-time compensation of any LED colour drift induced by environmental changes.

The driver IC has a remarkably wide dimming range that enables optimal brightness adjustment for daytime and night driving. Meeting automotive ISO 26262 functional safety demands up to safety integrity level B (ASIL B), the MLX81116 also offers low EMI emission and high immunity, due to the usage of the CAN-FD physical layer, which facilitates compliance with applicable EMC regulations.

“Car makers need a robust solution capable of supporting advanced light functionalities,” said Michael Bender, product line manager Embedded Lighting at Melexis. “MLX81116, the first in our product family to leverage MeLiBu, is a reliable and cost-effective way to address this. We are excited to see leading manufacturers already include it in their new models to deliver a safer driving experience.”

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