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Renesas LED headlight driver IC integrates multiple functions

October 06, 2010 | Christoph Hammerschmidt | 222901124
Renesas LED headlight driver IC integrates multiple functions High expectations are connected to LED headlights for vehicles: High energy efficiency, novel design solutions and greatly improved design options. Renesas' μPD168891 LED control chip integrates several core functions for this type of application.

The main features of the μPD168891 are an integrated current-control function for constant-current drive of LEDs as well as a pre-driver function for driving external metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFETs); integrated protection functions essential for automotive applications, including LED current and external MOSFET overcurrent protection; and a newly developed compact package with low thermal resistance. The device can be combined with other electronic components, such as MOSFETs, Schottky diodes, and choke coils, to build electronic-control units driving automotive headlights.

According to Reneas, the μPD168891 provides constant-current drive control for up to 12 power LEDs connected in a series. The voltage boost switching frequency can be set to a maximum of 500 kHz, a rate slightly lower than the AM radio frequency band to prevent interference with the car audio system. LED drive is supported for power-supply voltages ranging from 6 to 28V. An integrated pre-driver circuit can drive two power MOSFETs used for voltage boost drive and current line cutoff when protection functions are enabled.

The device also incorporates several protection functions including overcurrent protection for the LED current and external MOSFETs, over voltage/load (LED) open protection, LED pin short-circuit protection and overheating protection.

A diagnostic function provides information on the device state when a protection function is triggered, and a shutoff function controls external power MOSFETs to disable current lines. These functions enable a higher-level unit, such as a body control module, to monitor the device and prevent secondary problems due to continuing current flow.

To reduce heat generation and board dimensions, the μPD168891 control IC utilizes a newly designed compact package (48-pin VQFN, 7×7 mm, lead-free) with low thermal resistance, making it possible to design automotive control units that are more compact and lightweight.

Samples of Renesas Electronics' new μPD168891 control IC are currently available. Mass production is scheduled for the first half of FY2012.

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