HCD/LED MCU promotes lighting application flexibility.

Press Release Summary:

Supplied in 64-pin LQFP, µPD78F8024 combines 8-bit All Flash(TM) MCU with 4-channel constant high-current driver (HCD). It supports switching frequencies up to 1 MHz and allows use of passive components to reduce board space. Also able to communicate with temperature/lighting sensors, MCU offers mower management capabilities that suit lighting applications with more than one LED, industrial control applications with stepping motor and solenoid drives, and switching-mode power supplies.

Original Press Release:

NEC Electronics Enters LED Control Market with High-Performance, Intelligent Microcontroller

Collaborates with Future Lighting Solutions to Develop Single-Chip Solution to Reduce Board Space and Costs for LED Lighting Applications

SANTA CLARA, Calif., (U.S.A.), DUESSELDORF, Germany, May 19, 2008 - NEC Electronics America, Inc. and NEC Electronics (Europe) GmbH introduced the world's first microcontroller (MCU), part number µPD78F8024, with a constant high-current driver (HCD). The new HCD/LED MCU can be used in lighting applications that use more than one LED, in industrial control applications featuring stepping motor and solenoid drives, and in switching-mode power supplies. Developed in collaboration with leading LED solutions supplier Future Lighting Solutions (a division of Future Electronics), the two companies merged their expertise to develop this intelligent design approach to meet the growing market demands of LED lighting and other applications.

The new µPD78F8024 device combines an NEC Electronics 8-bit All Flash(TM) MCU with a four-channel HCD that helps reduce size and system cost. NEC Electronics and Future Lighting Solutions worked closely together to define specifications for the new device, which delivers efficient power management capability in street illumination, architecture, entertainment, emergency vehicle and display lighting systems.

"NEC Electronics America and Future Lighting Solutions developed a 'smart' design approach to support the growing performance demands of LED lighting and other applications," said Bart Ladd, general manager, Account Development and Applications, NEC Electronics America. "The new solution offers higher integration and greater intelligence, and is supported with a robust design environment that helps designers bring products to market faster and more cost effectively."

Integration, Efficient Drive Size, Low Cost
The µPD78F8024 HCD/LED MCU integrates an 8-bit MCU and constant high-current driver with several discrete components in a low-profile quad flat package (LQFP). The MCU's small size, compared to traditional device sizes, opens up space on a board for other components. By supporting switching frequencies up to 1 megahertz (MHz), the new device also allows designers to use smaller passive components such as inductors to further reduce board space, a particular benefit in architectural and general-purpose lighting applications and in display backlighting systems where space is at a premium.

High integration offers additional advantages in cost-sensitive applications such as consumer electronics products and emergency vehicles. With fewer off-chip components, overall size of the main component is smaller, making it possible for designers to further reduce costs.

"Customers will value the flexibility that the µPD78F8024 solution provides, such as providing output current support to drive the full range of our LUXEON® high-power LEDs," said Patrick Durand, Worldwide Applications Manager, Future Lighting Solutions. "Engineers who want to maximize control, reliability and power savings for their solid-state lighting applications can also leverage this new MCU's ability to dynamically change current for an average LED by communicating with a temperature or ambient light sensor."

Four-Channel Architecture Enables Flexible and "Smart" Design
The MCU's flexible four-channel architecture, 9- to 38-volt (V) input voltage and buck or boost mode capability, enable it to be used in multiple geographic regions. In addition, engineers can configure the high-current driver as four independent channels or as one combined channel to manage dimming and color features more intelligently. Using the channels independently works well in gaming, architectural and entertainment applications that feature distinct lighting functions, for example, for generating different lighting effects. Combining all four channels enables designers to generate arrays of up to 40 high-power LEDs, thereby providing the stronger LED power and built-in redundancy required for general street and tunnel lighting where constant and consistent illumination is key.

The ability to alter effective LED current dynamically is particularly useful in outdoor lighting environments. When used with a series of external MOSFETs, the new HCD/LED MCU can support currents ranging from 350 milliamperes (mA) to more than 1.5 amperes, enabling LED designers to adjust current volumes to improve thermal management and meet a wide variety of power needs. The MCU can also communicate with temperature and/or lighting sensors to improve LED temperature control.

Development Support
Comprehensive development tools from NEC Electronics and third-party suppliers include C compilers, integrated development environments (IDEs), a full-function in-circuit emulator (ICE), an integrated debugger for design and development, and a PG-FP5 flash programmer. A full evaluation kit is also available, along with an Applilet automatic sample code generator that has been optimized specifically for the new HCD/LED device.

Pricing and Availability
The µPD78F8024 HCD/LED MCU is available in a 64-pin LQFP. Device samples are available now, starting at US$3.50 in 1000-unit quantities. Evaluation boards are also available now. For additional information, visit FutureLightingSolutions.com/NEC. (Pricing and availability are subject to change without notice.)

About NEC Electronics
NEC Electronics Corporation (TSE: 6723) specializes in semiconductor products encompassing advanced technology solutions for the high-end computing and broadband networking markets; system solutions for the mobile handset, PC peripheral, automotive and digital consumer markets; and multi-market solutions for a wide range of customer applications. NEC Electronics Corporation has subsidiaries worldwide including NEC Electronics America, Inc. and NEC Electronics (Europe) GmbH. More information about NEC Electronics worldwide can be found at www.necel.com.

On a worldwide basis, NEC Electronics Corporation was rated the number one supplier of 32-bit MCUs in 2007 according to the Gartner Dataquest March 2008 rankings report.

NEC Electronics and NEC Electronics America are either registered trademarks or trademarks of NEC Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. All Flash is a trademark of NEC Electronics Corporation. LUXEON is a registered trademark of Philips Lumileds. All other marks are property of their respective owners.

More from Electrical Equipment & Systems

All Topics