Inova Semiconductors Provides Standalone ISELED LED Driver & Controller in Volume Production

June 23, 2020 Tiera Oliver

In addition to its LED driver/controller die, integrated in smart ISELED LED modules, Inova Semiconductors offers the driver chip as a standalone solution. The standalone ISELED driver is now available in volume production and is AEC-Q100 qualified. The INLC10AQ (originally introduced as INLC100Q16) will be used to construct custom LED chains that can be controlled via a bidirectional two-wire differential bus, enabling up to 4079 daisy-chained LED driver & controller devices in a single array.

Additionally, smart LED modules integrating both the driver & controller and RGB LEDs in one single package are available from different vendors both in high volume and automotive qualified. Both the integrated LED modules and the standalone solution enable innovative solutions in ambient lighting, roof lighting, display backlight, and functional lighting.

According to the company, the Inova INLC10AQ is flexible, intuitive, and easy to program, providing functions such as color/brightness control and low light dimming support. It supports calibration of an LED's brightness, while the dominant wavelength provides temperature compensation for red LEDs and features a built-in one-time programmable (OTP) memory for storing calibration and compensation data values, which abolishes the need for LED binning.

The driver & controller chip includes a built-in oscillator,  eliminating the need for additional external components. It only requires a single supply voltage and also integrates a built-in LDO (low dropout regulator), a temperature sensor, and comprehensive diagnostic features.

LED chains can be built up by daisy-chaining several INLC10AQ devices or other ISELED products via a differential bidirectional serial bus with 2 Mbps and CRC (Cyclic Redundancy Check). The chip provides three independent, constant current sinks, each controlled via PWM (488 Hz, 12 bit). In an LED chain, each device is individually addressable via the serial bus, using a proprietary bus protocol.

When implementing daisy chained INLC10AQ devices, the communication between the microcontroller and the first device is single ended. The INLC10AQ can also be used as a converter that is placed near the microcontroller. The device then converts the single ended signal to a differential signal, connecting to the first LED in the chain. The converter device can also be combined with other authenticated ISELED products that contain the INLC10AQ controller and RGB LEDs in one single package.

Besides the usage to drive smart LEDs, the outputs to 3 LEDs can also be used with a built in ADC which can sense the applied voltage at the pins. This allows the connection of simple sensors (e.g. proximity, touch, pressure) or knobs to the LED chain and then transfers the data via the ISELED bus back to the controller, avoiding additional wiring for the sensors.

The INLC10AQ is a mixed signal device in a 16-lead, WETQFN package, measuring just 3mm x 3mm x 0.9mm. The broad operating temperature range is specified from -40°C to 105°C and the device has been qualified in accordance with the AEC-Q100 automotive test specifications.

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About the Author

Tiera Oliver, edtorial intern for Embedded Computing Design, is responsible for web content edits as well as newsletter updates. She also assists in news content as far as constructing and editing stories. Before interning for ECD, Tiera had recently graduated from Northern Arizona University where she received her B.A. in journalism and political science and worked as a news reporter for the university's student led newspaper, The Lumberjack.

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