Enabling lighting differentiation

28th September 2021
Joe Bush

Melexis is helping automobile manufacturers gain a competitive edge, opening up opportunities to add animated lighting functionality to their vehicles. A combination of advanced multi-channel driver ICs and a license-free high-speed bus protocol provide the performance and scalability required.

Melexis has leveraged its in-vehicle networking capabilities to address the latest automotive lighting trend. Through use of the company’s license-free MeLiBu technology, design engineers will have access to the high-speed interfacing needed for the implementation of animated lighting applications. Based on the CAN-FD physical layer and UART communication with self-synchronisation, the MeLiBu bus protocol is already supported by Melexis’ multi-channel MLX81116 and MLX81117 LED driver ICs, as well as the MLX81130 OLED driver.

More compatible products will be released. MeLiBu’s elevated bandwidth and ultra-low latency operation enables the real-time updating of more than 300 RGB-LEDs. As a result, compelling animated content may be featured on LED lighting matrices without any compromise in performance. There is no need for an excessive number of components that will add to the overall expense and take up valuable board space.

As well as being capable of delivering 2Mbit/s data transmission rates, MeLiBu is robust enough to handle the ESD and EMI issues that are associated with automotive deployment. ISO26262 compliance ensures that it is completely aligned with ASIL B functional safety expectations. This bus protocol supports lighting for both interior and exterior applications. Among these will be animated brand badges, turn indicators, safety warning lights, daytime running lights, and phone call alerts, etc.

“Our automotive customers are able to show real differentiation and gain greater market traction for their latest models, whether this is in the luxury, mid-range or economy category” stated Michael Bender, Product Line Manager Embedded Lighting at Melexis. “MeLiBu with its related driver ICs present a highly flexible and fully scalable platform. They bring new exciting lighting concepts without having to worry about system cost or complexity. It means that animated lighting functions are now possible for lower/medium end vehicles”

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