Automotive

LED driver extends lighting solutions for automotive applications

26th March 2021
Lanna Deamer

Melexis has introduced the MLX81117, its latest multichannel RGB LED driver. This new product supports the MeLiBu high-speed communication licence-free IP which enables intelligent animated automotive lighting concepts.

The technology is already being leveraged by leading global car manufacturers to enhance the safety features of their latest models. The MLX81117 extends the MeLiBu product family with even better colour-mixing accuracy of delta UV of less than 0.01.

Car manufacturers continue to adopt animated lighting in the cabin, to provide important information such as driver-assistance prompts, vehicle status updates or advanced comfort functions like adaptive roof light. It is becoming increasingly mainstream to use RGB LED lightbars to communicate with the driver through colour-coded, colour-changing and blinking sequences. However, this presents engineering challenges, such as maintaining consistent colour across all of the LEDs in the lightbar and implementing simultaneous light changes. 

The MLX81117 addresses this by integrating the Melexis MeLiBu high-speed communication interface IP. MeLiBu controls individual LEDs to implement the lighting effects defined by the vehicle’s systems. The intelligent RGB-LED controller also provides real time compensation of any colour drift caused by environmental changes, and colour-mixing accuracy with a delta UV of less than 0.01% to eliminate any distinguishable differences between LEDs.

The MeLiBu communication interface uses a CAN-FD physical layer to deliver robust and reliable performance at up to 2 Mbit speeds. MeLiBu also delivers intelligent and high resolution operation to mitigate temperature-related color drift, to maintain a consistent and non-distracting user experience under all operating conditions.

The MLX81117 LED driver IC’s additional features include brightness control across a wide dimming range, which allows adjustments for natural light levels. The MLX81117 complies with ISO 26262 functional safety requirements up to safety integrity level B (ASIL B) and the design also delivers low EMI and high levels of immunity, helping designers to meet EMC regulations.

“The MLX81117 is the second product offering from Melexis to integrate its MeLiBu technology, which enables a scalability approach of the lighting system as well as new application functions,” said Michael Bender, Product Line Manager Embedded Lighting, Melexis. “It extends our support for advanced light functionality and we are excited to see leading automotive manufacturers already include it in their new models to deliver a safer driving experience.”

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