Intelligent OLED controller for automotive applications

27-07-2021 | Melexis | Automotive & Transport

Melexis has developed an intelligent OLED controller that combines all of the active components needed to realise combined point LED and area OLED lighting applications inside and outside a vehicle. Each MLX81130 can drive 25 LEDs/OLEDs and supports the Melexis MeLiBu interface. It provides simpler static and animated lighting system development. It is particularly suitable for RCL or small OLED displays.

This highly integrated, intelligent controller enables LEDs and OLEDs to be driven by a single device. Produced to support ASIL B system integration, the device, in a QFN 5x5 package, features 25 programmable constant current sources. It has been created to work in single-master, multiple-slave configurations.

“Lighting applications are becoming more sophisticated. Manufacturers start using OLED technology. This offers improved uniformity, efficiency and design possibilities thanks to its smaller size,” commented Michael Bender, product line manager Embedded Lighting at Melexis. “Together with its high-speed communication Interface MeLiBu, the MLX81130 is a pioneer in its ability to support both OLEDs and LEDs, allowing automotive manufacturers to realise value-added exterior lighting features more cost-effectively.”

Automotive engineers can appreciate that utilising LEDs alongside OLEDs typically needs two types of drivers, with two controllers and possibly two complete sub-systems, which are not easily integrated. This device overcomes this due to independently programmable outputs that can drive LEDs and OLEDs. Each device can drive up to 25 independent LEDs or 8 RGB LEDs while supporting the extensive threshold range required by OLEDs. It has been created to support multiple-slave configurations, meaning the entire number of LEDs/OLEDs that can be controlled by one Master is virtually unlimited.

Each constant current output is managed through the integrated 16-bit MLX16 FX pipelined microcontroller, supported by a 32-bit math co-processor and 32KB of Flash. Also provided are two watchdog timers with independent clocks and a 10-bit ADC. Outputs can be controlled through PWM. These output currents are programmable in steps of 1mA between 0mA and 15mA, then 2mA steps up to 30mA per output, reacting to the market's needs. For yet more output current, multiple device outputs can be bridged.

By Natasha Shek