Infineon introduces a low cost LED driver IC for general lighting applications

Aug. 1, 2009
Date Announced: 01 Aug 2009 -- Features thermal protection for LEDs and high output current accuracyNeubiberg, Germany –– With LED’s revolutionizing the illumination market by offering high energy efficiency and very long operating life, Infineon Technologies AG (FSE/NYSE: IFX) contributes to faster adoption of this new technology by introducing the low cost LED driver IC BCR 450. Specifically designed for driving high power LEDs, the BCR 450 in combination with an external transistor features highly precise current control, thermal protection as well as over-voltage and over-current protection functions. As BCR 450 produces no electromagnetic radiation, it is well-suited for applications sensitive against electromagnetic interference (EMI), such as lighting in transportation vehicles including buses, ships, trains and aircrafts, as well as medical applications with communication bus systems. In addition to general lighting systems, BCR 450 also is ideal for applications in architectural and accent lighting, advertising, strobe lights for emergency vehicles, hazard lights and road safety lights.Technical details on LED driver BCR 450: benchmark in price-performance ratioThe BCR 450 was specifically designed for use with high-wattage LED’s (for example in the 0.5W, 1W or 3W range) in combination with an external transistor. By simply changing the external transistor, manufacturers of LED lighting have the flexibility to adapt output currents from 100mA to above 1A.The application circuit with BCR 450 has low component count and is free of inductors, capacitors and free-wheeling diode resulting in a very small PCB space requirement. This includes the elimination of electrolytic capacitors which limit the lifetime of switch-mode driver solutions. Since there is no need for capacitors with BCR 450, the lifetime of the LED system can be extended. Regarding long life operation of LED lighting sources, Infineon recognized the strong demands for thermal management and implemented an effective thermal shut down feature and over-voltage as well as over-current protection into the device.In large parts of the illumination market and especially in architectural lighting a homogenous light output in the whole LED chain of light sources is crucial. The human eye is very sensitive towards shifts in light color. The BCR 450 with its output current precision varying only +/-10 percent over the entire operating temperature range strongly supports the homogenous light output requirement for LED lighting fixtures.“Currently the biggest obstacle for penetration of LED’s in the lighting market is the high system price. As Infineon separated the power stage from the intelligent IC, the cost of the BCR 450 LED driver could be optimized. The BCR 450 clearly outperforms current LED driver solutions in terms of price-performance ratio,” said Michael Mauer, Senior Director, Discrete Semiconductors at Infineon Technologies. “With our commitment to energy efficiency, we have developed an innovative product that maximizes performance and lifetime of LED lighting systems while reducing board space, design complexity and system costs.”Availability, package and pricingVolume production of the new BCR 450 LED driver IC has already started. It is available in a small 6-pin SC74 package. In quantities of 50,000 units, pricing for the BCR 450 ranges between approximately Euro 0.25 and Euro 0.30 (U.S. dollar 0.30 and U.S. dollar 0.35) per unit.Infineon offers a comprehensive range of LED driver solutions characterized by robustness and cost-effectiveness, meeting the evolving and expanding requirements of lighting applications.Further information on Infineon’s LED Driver ICs is available at InfineonInfineon Technologies AG, Neubiberg, Germany, offers semiconductor and system solutions addressing three central challenges to modern society: energy efficiency, communications, and security. In the 2008 fiscal year (ending September), the company reported sales of Euro 4.3 billion with approximately 29,100 employees worldwide. With a global presence, Infineon operates through its subsidiaries in the U.S. from Milpitas, CA, in the Asia-Pacific region from Singapore, and in Japan from Tokyo. Infineon is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and on the New York Stock Exchange (ticker symbol: IFX).

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