Multi-Channel LED Driver with Serial Interface from ON Semiconductor

Nov 1, 2011 ON Semiconductor, a premier supplier of high performance silicon solutions for energy efficient electronics, has introduced the NCP1840, a multi-LED driver with the ability to drive up to eight LEDs independently, using any illumination pattern the user creates. The NCP1840 is ideal for multi-LED status indicators that communicate status and diagnostic conditions to the user, and can help differentiate an end product via LED animation.

According to press release by utilizing the NCP1840, engineers can offload some of the work normally handled by the processor in their system design, as it no longer needs to directly control each individual LED. Current and dimming level programming is conveniently done by writing to and reading registers via a serial interface that uniformly controls the brightness and blink rate of each LED. LED brightness levels can be controlled logarithmically -- rather than linearly -- to accommodate natural eye viewing with no brightness distortion.

The device is well suited for portable applications due to its ability to extend battery life by using a high efficiency, low noise, quad-mode charge pump. The charge pump and constant current regulators maintain forward LED voltage and active operation despite swings in input voltage. The NCP1840 also saves on space by requiring only five small ceramic capacitors and one resistor to form a complete LED power supply and current controller.

Ideal for applications in the industrial, computing and consumer end markets, the device is offered in a Pb-free, RoHS compliant 4 mm x 4 mm QFN-20 package, and supports an operating temperature range of -40 a deg C to +85 a deg C. The NCP1840 is priced at $0.94 per unit in 1,000 unit quantities.

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Author:  Alice Jones

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