TI adds LED driver ICs for automotive forward and rear lighting

May 20, 2014
Texas Instruments targets satisfaction of global regulatory requirements with switching LED driver for automotive forward-facing lighting and a linear driver IC for rear lighting.

Texas Instruments (TI) has announced the TPS92630-Q1 and TPS92602-Q1 families of LED driver ICs targeting rear- and forward-facing automotive lighting, respectively. Both of the driver IC families feature high-side, current-sense-based dimming capabilities along with fault-detection features intended to satisfy the various automotive-centric regulatory requirements around the globe.

Related article: Osram introduces two new LED families for automotive headlamps

LEDs are increasingly the light source of choice for automotive lighting due to both efficiency and durability. But the automotive application is subject to strict regulatory bodies around the globe. We covered both topics in a feature article last year.

On to the TI news, the TPS92630-Q1 IC is intended for rear-facing applications such as turn signals, reverse lights, and brake lights. The IC includes the ability to automatically detect a single LED that fails via a short or closed circuit, allowing for the overall rear-lighting system to continue to operate properly, thereby meeting regulatory requirements in many regions.

Automotive lighting developers can combine as many as 15 of the TPS92630-Q1 ICs on a single bus to control an array of LEDs based on simple control logic with no requirement for a microcontroller to handle failures or faults. The fail-safe features integrated in the IC result in a lower-cost bill of materials and simpler realization on a printed circuit board (PCB). Moreover, the IC also includes a programmable thermal fold-back feature that prevents LED flicker in a fault condition.

For forward-facing applications, the TPS92602-Q1 IC is a two-channel switching driver that can support buck, boost, buck-boost, SEPIC, and flyback converter topologies on a channel-by-channel basis. The flexibility allows lighting developers to develop a simpler PCB with the same IC implementing the topology required for specific lighting functions.

Related article: Audi boosts headlamp functionality with LEDs and intelligent control

The TPS92602-Q1 can support both linear dimming and pulse-width modulation (PWM) dimming with the latter based on the current-sense technology. An integrated diagnostic capability can communicate faults or failures to the body-control electronics, satisfying many regulatory requirements. The IC also has the ability to swap automatically from constant-current mode to constant-voltage mode if an LED open condition occurs, thereby ensuring other LEDs operate in an uninterrupted fashion.

For developers that want to experiment with the new driver ICs, TI is also offering evaluation modules for both of the product families. The TPS92630 EVM sells for $99 and includes a three-channel implementation capable of PWM and analog dimming with three Osram Opto Semiconductor LEDs driven in series on each channel. The TPS92602 EVM includes a two-channel implementation with separate regulation loops that can operate in constant-voltage or -current modes and sells for $115. TI will also supply SPICE models for the ICs to simplify the driver design process.