By integrating the ability to control and drive high-power light-emitting diodes (LEDs), a new single-chip device promises to reduce cost and boost reliability of LED-based systems.
Known as the PowerPSoC CY8CLED04D01, the new product could be
applied in applications ranging from desk lamps to ceiling lights to interior
and exterior lighting on automobiles. In those applications, it could
dramatically reduce part count and simultaneously simplify the design process
by eliminating the need to incorporate a separate power supply.
"A lot of our customers are accustomed to developing lighting
fixtures with an Edison-style socket of some sort, which typically doesn't have
a power supply in it," says Curt Davis, vice president of Cypress
Semiconductor's PowerPSoC Business Unit, which makes the new product. "They
have limited engineering resources to help them with the design of the power
Cypress Semiconductor engineers say that
the new PowerPSoC device is unique in the LED arena because it's the first
single-chip for both controlling and driving high-power LEDs. It integrates
four constant-current regulators and four 32V MOSFETs with the PSoC
programmable system-on-chip, which includes a microcontroller, programmable
analog and digital blocks, and memory. As a result, it can handle current
control, voltage regulation, communication and dimming, among other chores.
For product developers, the high level
of integration reportedly offers numerous benefits. Cypress says that part count and bill of
materials costs are both reduced by 20-30 percent. As a result, the integrated
design reportedly offers greater reliability.
"The more discrete components you have in a solution, the
less reliable the solution becomes because of all the solder joints," Davis says.
The PowerPSoC can be applied to a variety of applications,
from home lighting products to small bulbs for commercial applications and
recessed lighting. It's especially useful in dimming applications, Davis says, because it
enables dimming down to 1percent of maximum, whereas most LED dimmers go no
lower than 30 percent.
the single-chip device's current-control capabilities also can be used outside
the LED world. "We are not just limited to lighting," he says. "Any system that
requires very accurate current control - for example, dc motors, solenoids and
relays - make good applications for the PowerPSoC."