Automotive OEMs to semiconductor manufacturers to tests specialists are new members of the ISELED Alliance that is seeking to accelerate innovation in automotive cabin lighting through highly-integrated microcontroller, LED driver, and LED modules.
The ISELED Alliance has announced that eleven new members have joined as the organization continues to grow an ecosystem intended to spur innovation in interior automotive cabin lighting through tight integration of LEDs, drivers, and microcontrollers. Founder Inova Semiconductor has referred to the technology approach as creation of a “digital LED” — actually a tightly integrated modular subsystem that can be easily deployed in multiple applications inside the modern automobile.
Inova first revealed its idea to create such an alliance at the Electronica tradeshow back in November 2016. The concept accelerated this past fall just prior to Electronica when Osram Opto Semiconductors joined the alliance. Around that same time, Osram showed its Osire E4633i LED module based on the technology. The Alliance has defined a scheme using a 2-wire digital bus that connects to RGB LED nodes often implemented in flexible strips.
Solid-state lighting (SSL) can both optimize ambience in an automotive cabin and improve safety and functionality, especially as the auto industry moves toward autonomous vehicle operation. “Lighting in vehicles is increasingly becoming an important design element but will in future also take on functional tasks,” said Inova CEO Robert Kraus. “In conjunction with displays, light is becoming an integral part of innovative visualization concepts especially with regard to highly automated and autonomous driving.”
The full list of new members is far too long to fully discuss here, but you can learn about all of the members on the ISELED website. But let’s discuss some of the notable additions. Allegro MicroSystems from the US joined and makes power semiconductors and sensors focused on automotive applications. UG-System from Germany is focused on test systems, and fellow German company iSYS RTS is a software-development specialist.
Among the most significant new members are automotive OEMs Hella and Grupo Antolin. “Limited space is one of the main challenges for automotive interior light design,” said Stephan Fritsch, head of electronics development at Hella Innenleuchten-Systeme GmbH. “The highly integrated ISELED technology provides us with completely new opportunities to realize innovative lighting solutions. So we are really delighted to be part of the alliance.”
“ISELED technology enables us to equip the vehicle interiors we develop and manufacture with even better lighting solutions,” said Markus Daubner, technical director for ambient lighting at Grupo Antolin. “The technical combination of LED and microcontroller is very exciting for us, and that’s why we’re getting involved in the first series applications.”
Automotive applications continue to be a growing sector for LED-based lighting, essentially achieving a renaissance-like reemergence for some LED manufacturers in terms of revenue growth as we covered in our article on the Strategies in Light Conference that will be in our April/May issue. Philip Smallwood, director of research at Strategies Unlimited, is projecting 18% annual growth in LED revenue for exterior auto lighting over the next five years. The projection for interior growth is only 5%. But an initiative such as the ISELED Alliance could turn up that growth rate. You can get Strategies Unlimited’s latest data on the LED market in its new “Worldwide Market for LEDs” report.
Back to the ISELED Alliance, the membership has an eye for applications beyond the automotive interior. Indeed, Inova’s Kraus has said the technology can be used to create a dynamic display backlight. And he said the members are working on outdoor SSL systems intended for auto-to-human communications that will rely on an “ISELED-based fieldbus.”