LED driver reduces complexity and cost in automotive lighting apps

July 25, 2011 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Micrel Inc has rolled out the MAQ3203, an AEC-Q100 version of the MIC3203. This step-down High Brightness LED (HBLED) driver IC reduces the complexity and cost of high current LED driver solutions in automotive lighting applications.

The MAQ3203 is capable of driving multiple HBLEDs in series at more than 90 percent efficiency with 5 percent current accuracy from input voltages of 4.5 V to 42 V. With its hysteretic control architecture and high-side current sense scheme, the device provides an ideal solution to drive the HBLEDs with constant current.

The operating frequency is adjustable up to 1.5 MHz which allows flexibility in the design and offers a frequency dithering feature to mitigate EMI. The IC features a dedicated PWM dimming pin, an enable pin for very low power shutdown, over temperature protection and an under voltage lockout. The MAQ3203 has an external power switch and requires no external compensation.

"LED-based lighting is gaining popularity in automotive applications with both LED makers and LED light engine designers in need of more robust, efficient solutions that enable OEMs to realize the full benefits of energy-efficient LEDs," noted Doyle Slack, senior marketing director for Analog. "By integrating the core functions critical to automotive LED lighting, the MAQ3203 driver IC offers a compact all-in-one solution that requires few additional components, enabling more cost-effective, elegant and reliable LED module designs."

The device comes in a SOIC-8L package. It is currently available in volume quantities, with 1Ku pricing starting at 1.50. Samples can now be ordered at: http://www.micrel.com/ProductList.do.