New approach to dynamic RGB-LED application development

09-04-2024 | Melexis | Automotive & Transport

Melexis has unveiled the ADK81116 application development kit. Developed to simplify the development of dynamic RGB-LED automotive applications, this comprehensive solution comes with preloaded configurable firmware. It removes the necessity for firmware development, replacing it with straightforward calibration and configuration through a user-friendly GUI.

LED lighting, particularly when implemented in a highly dynamic manner, is increasingly recognised as a key element of modern automotive design. It creates striking visual differentiation, helping manufacturers make their designs stand out. It also allows for the deployment of smart feedback systems for both infotainment and ADAS functions.

However, for Tier 1 manufacturers producing traditional mechanical or electronic assemblies, integrating animated lighting systems with sophisticated firmware requirements can produce quite a technical challenge.

To allow accurate colour mixing in a typical dynamic RGB application, it is necessary to develop firmware that permits for diagnostics, system integration, and calibration of the base PWM settings. Also, the firmware must undergo extensive testing and validation before it is ready for production.

This is the challenge the company resolves with the intuitive kit. Included in the application development kit are the required wiring harness, a power supply, and an evaluation lighting stripe with 30 RGB LEDs in multiplex mode driven by five MLX81116AAE IC drivers. To begin using the kit, you only need the Melexis Universal Master (MUM) for configuring and simulating the end application.

This kit includes the new variant of the company's 12-channel MLX81116, the MLX81116KLW-AAE-150-RE. This UART over CAN-FD RGB-LED driver variant comes preloaded with its developed and validated configurable firmware. The hardware meets automotive standards and features 16-bit color control with a mixing accuracy of delta u’v' <0.01.

Through adopting this novel approach to application development, the arduous task of creating firmware from the ground up is no longer necessary. Instead, the preloaded MLX81116KLW-AAE-150-RE can be effortlessly configured and tested using EEPROM parameters managed through Melexis' intuitive GUI

This new approach redefines the development process and is better suited to modern automotive design, where shorter development cycles are desired.

By eradicating the need for firmware development expertise, the development time is greatly reduced. Furthermore, the validation process is reduced as well as the company's firmware is already pre-validated. The combined impact is the potential to reduce the development and validation processes by months and significantly reduce operational costs.

By introducing the kit and its associated MLX81116KLW-AAE-150-RE variant, many of the typical challenges faced in developing dynamic lighting systems for the automotive industry are overcome.

Nevertheless, the company's assistance goes beyond simply changing the development approach. Included in the GUI is its extensive colour library, which contains compensation settings for a wide range of LEDs to ensure the specified colour point is hit. As well as decreasing development efforts, this library helps to reinforce supply chain resilience by enabling easier use of LEDs from different manufacturers.

"Melexis has addressed the needs of its customers by removing a significant portion of the development effort and moving towards a more standardised workflow," said Roland Steger, business development manager. He continued, "With this application-specific solution, Tier's cut months from their developments. They no longer need any firmware development knowledge and are better positioned to keep pace with the rapidly evolving automotive lighting market."


By Seb Springall

Seb Springall is a seasoned editor at Electropages, specialising in the product news sections. With a keen eye for the latest advancements in the tech industry, Seb curates and oversees content that highlights cutting-edge technologies and market trends.