Today, the global automotive industry sees the benefit and value of using LED lights for most automotive lighting applications. LED attributes like energy efficiency, longevity, low radiated heat, reliability, and high lumen density make LED a compelling technology. The Strata enabled automotive LED taillights evaluation kit from ON Semiconductor provides an easy-to-use platform within the Strata Development Studio to help evaluate the LED system in this key automotive application.
Based on the NCV7685, 12 channels 60 mA LED linear current driver which is I2C controllable, the new evaluation kit offers features such as 12 independently controlled pulse width modulation (PWM) channels, variable PWM frequency, current setpoint via a single resistor, and LED diagnostics. This solution highlights other key components from ON Semiconductor such as CAT5171 digital potentiometer, FPF2193 load switch, NCV47822 dual high side switch, FPF2700 adjustable current-limit load switch, NCV8853 buck controller, NCV5173 boost regulator, NCT375 temperature sensor and NCS214R current sense amplifier.
Figure 1. Block diagram
Let’s have a walkthrough of the Strata enabled automotive LED taillights evaluation kit. To get started, download and install Strata Developer Studio. Then plug in the mini USB cable provided with the kit from the board to the PC running Strata. Once connected, the board will be automatically detected and the control user interface (UI) will be immediately accessible by clicking on “open platform controls” button. The navigation tabs in the control UI are easy to use and designed for a complete evaluation experience.
The first tab from the left is “car demo mode”. When selected, it is automatically enabled to emulate taillights and headlights of a normal car. The default configuration shows the car hazard lights with both left and right blinkers flashing 80 times per minute. The brake, reverse, blinker and running lights can be configured using the clickable controls on the right side of the user interface. The hazards must be disabled to use the left and right blinker controls.
The “LED control” tab provides full control over the 12 LED channels with direct control of the LED driver’s I2C registers, PWN with an easy to use and intuitive UI.
The “power” tab controls the input power supply as well as readings of various current, voltage, and temperature telemetry on the evaluation board. The default power supply configuration uses an adjustable output boost converter from the USB VBUS and is limited to approximately 2W for LED power. An external power supply can be connected via the banana plugs or the barrel connector for higher power operation. The LED string voltage is provided from the on-board boost or buck power supplies or directly from the external banana/barrel connectors.
The “SAM (stand-alone mode), OTP (one-time program) and CRC (cyclic redundancy check)” tab provides access to the SAM and OTP registers by using the NCV7685 without the need for a microcontroller to configure the LED driver via I2C communication. The I2C address and CRC can also be set to non-default values.
Figure 2. Platform control UI
Complete collateral for the platform such as, schematics, layouts, block diagrams, user guides, test reports, datasheets, etc. are available, as well within Strata Developer Studio under the “documents” tab.
Figure 3. Platform documents
The Strata enabled automotive LED taillights evaluation kit offers a comprehensive evaluation experience to test, measure, and control various critical design parameters in LED vehicle lighting in order to help design engineers determine if this solution is compatible and a perfect fit for their automotive lighting application. The automotive LED taillights solution is applicable in the following: dashboard, rear combination lamps (RCL), daytime running lights (DRL), fog lights, center high mounted stop lamps (CHMSL) arrays, turn signal and other externally modulated applications.
Continue learning about our Strata enabled automotive LED taillights evaluation kit and how you can use it to enhance your design today!
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