Two-string HB LED driver suits automotive applications

Maxim Integrated Products introduces the MAX16838, reportedly the industry’s only two-string HB (high-brightness) LED driver for automotive applications. This device integrates a boost or SEPIC switching converter, two linear current sinks, and all necessary power MOSFETs. The MAX16838 is able to optimize conversion efficiency, provide complete fault protection, and allow a 5000:1 dimming range — without any external components. This HB LED driver is well suited for LCD backlighting applications, particularly in automotive displays.

The MAX16838 optimizes conversion efficiency by automatically adjusting the switching converter's output voltage to the voltage supply required by the LEDs. A patent-pending architecture allows the device to dim LEDs over a very wide 5000:1 range at 200 Hz, while its 200 kHz to 2 MHz switching frequency can be synchronized to an external clock for improved EMC performance. Additionally, the MAX16838 includes a complete set of protections including LED fault, overtemperature, and overvoltage. If an LED fails open or short, the driver automatically disables the affected string while keeping the others working, thus improving system reliability.

Capable of delivering up to 150 mA per string, the MAX16838 operates over the -40° to 125° C automotive temperature range and accepts a 4.75 to 40 V input range. It is available in thermally enhanced, 4 x 4 mm, 20-pin TQFN and TSSOP packages.

For more information, contact Maxim Integrated Products, 120 San Gabriel Dr., Sunnyvale, CA 94086. Phone: (408) 737-7600.

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