Driver chip lowers cost of LED headlights

January 05, 2016 // By Paul Buckley
Cypress Semiconductor Corp. has introduced an LED driver which aims to make LED front lighting systems smaller and more cost effective.

The automotive LED driver has the ability to drive a single LED at a 2.1-MHz switching frequency, which enables a compact solution that uses small, inexpensive inductors, reducing physical size and bill-of-materials costs.

In addition, Cypress’s S6BL111A Automotive LED Drivers feature an input voltage range of 4.5-42 V that encompass extreme operating conditions such as cold-cranking - when the automobile engine starter draws an excessive amount of current due to starting the engine in cold temperatures - or load dump - a power surge that occurs when an automobile battery is disconnected while the alternator is supplying current during engine operation. The S6BL111A is a one-channel 1 A output LED driver that supports both analog and PWM dimming functions, enabling fine brightness control. The device switching frequency can be set between 205 kHz and 2.1 MHz, with high output current accuracy of +/-2%. The driver also facilitates the design of electrical system safeguards by including System Safety Functions such as over current and voltage protection, as well as the ability to mask undesired LED OPEN diagnosis during cold cranking.

Cypress offers a related kit to help designers evaluate the company's automotive LED technology. The Automotive LED Driver Evaluation Kit (CYALKIT-L01, CYALKIT-L02) includes an S6BL111A driver, automotive-grade peripheral components, external pins to easily monitor waveforms at each test point, and auxiliary PCB patterns to easily change circuits and add components.


The S6BL111A driver is currently sampling.  Production expected in the second quarter of 2016. The device is available in a 16-pin HTSSOP package.