Integrated LED matrix manager for adaptive automotive headlight systems

October 20, 2014 // By Graham Prophet
From Texas Instuments, this device is aimed at a new generation of “smart” multi-emitter LED headlamps: it is a compact, scalable solution reduces board space by 73%, controlling up to 96 high-brightness LEDs in innovative headlamps.

This fully integrated high-brightness LED matrix manager IC for adaptive automotive headlight systems, TPS92661-Q1, enables car manufacturers to create innovative LED headlamps that vary beam patterns and intensity dynamically for optimum roadway illumination and enhanced driver safety.

Featured in premium vehicles today and proliferating into mainstream models in the coming years, adaptive headlamp systems automatically manage the direction and intensity of high and low beams. The TPS92661-Q1 is a compact solution for shunt FET dimming arrays of high-brightness LEDs and includes 12 individually controlled MOSFET switches to steer current through or around the connected LEDs, thereby providing individual pixel-level light adjustment. A serial communication port facilitates control and diagnostic functions from a master microcontroller, such as TI's AEC-Q100-qualified C2000 Piccolo.

Until now, headlamp beam forming and directional control in an adaptive headlamp design required considerable board space to house bulky discrete circuits, including multiple transistors, gate drivers and glue logic. A single TPS92661-Q1 replaces this complex design, reducing board space by around three-quarters, and enables a headlamp system that is completely solid state with no moving parts that can wear out, such as motors or actuators.

TPS92661-Q1 controls up to 96 LEDs from a single serial port for headlamp beam forming and directional control. It applies individual 10-bit pulse-width modulation (PWM) brightness control to the LED for pixel-level light intensity adjustment. LED open/short fault diagnostics and reporting alerts the driver via the master microcontroller in the event of headlamp failures or damage.

TPS92661-Q1 comes in 48-pin HTQFP package for $3.70 (1000). TPS92661EVM-001 is an evaluation module for exterior automotive lighting that demonstrates the individual PWM dimming control of each LED.