Products, Materials & Tools | Dec 11, 2009

Infineon Extends Energy Efficient Lighting Portfolio; Introduces Low-Cost Driver Family for Half Watt LEDs

Infineon Technologies AG is extending its portfolio of energy efficient lighting ICs with a new family of low cost linear LED drivers. The new BCR320 and BCR420 product families address the burgeoning market for energy-saving and environmentally friendly LED lighting solutions.

Specifically designed for driving 0.5W LEDs with a typical current of 150mA to 200mA, these LED drivers feature a negative thermal coefficient contributing to a long lifetime of LEDs and a digital inter-face for a pulse width modulation (PWM) signal for dimming.

With the recent introduction of higher efficiency 0.5W LEDs this class of products is expected to be adopted in a wider range of applications. However, currently available resistor solutions for biasing LED current have significant disadvantages such as inhomogeneous light output and reduced lifetime of LEDs. Alternatively, switch mode drivers do not meet the required price point for 0.5W LED applications, and drive up the number of parts and the complexity of driver circuit.

With both devices, the usage of inductors, capacitors and free-wheeling diode can be avoided result-ing in cost savings and a very small PCB space requirement. The elimination of electrolytic capacitors can also contribute to the extended lifetime of the LED system.

Technical Details on LED Driver Families BCR320 and BCR420: Benchmark in Price-Performance Ratio
The BCR320 products are designed for a peak output current of up to 300mA. For continuous opera-tion a maximum nominal current of 250mA is recommended. While this device has an internal break-down voltage of typically 20V, it can be operated at supply voltages of 24V or higher since the driver is operated in series with the LEDs.

The BCR320 is targeted at general lighting, architectural and mood lighting applications. Another fast growing segment is shop lighting where 0.5W LEDs are preferred in order to spread the light and avoid glare. BCR320 devices have a negative thermal coefficient, which means that in case of temperature increase the current is lowered with a slope of 0.2% / K. The BCR320U and BCR321U versions are available in a very small SC-74 package (2.9mm x 2.5mm x 1.1mm) with 1W power dissipation. The BCR320P and BCR321P types will be offered in a SOT-223 package (6.5mm x 7.0mm x 1.6mm) providing a higher power dissipation of 2W. The BCR321U and BCR321P versions both offer a logic level input for dimming.

The BCR420 products have a higher internal breakdown voltage and a lower output current than the BCR320 devices. The internal breakdown voltage is typically 50V and the nominal output current is 150mA. The BCR420 LED drivers are intended for use in similar applications as mentioned above for a maximum drive current of 150mA. In addition, qualification for use in automotive applications, based on AECQ 101 certification, is ongoing. BCR420 and BCR421 products are available in SC-74 package. The BCR421 is the dimmable version with a microcontroller interface.

Availability and Pricing:
Volume production of the BCR320U and BCR420U LED drivers has started. Volume production for the BCR320P and BCR321P is expected in the first quarter of 2010. In quantities of a few thousand units, pricing for the BCR320 and BCR420 ranges between approximately Euro 0.18 and Euro 0.23 (USD $0.25 and USD $0.32) per unit.

Infineon offers a comprehensive range of LED driver solutions characterized by robustness and cost-effectiveness, meeting the evolving and expanding requirements of lighting applications. Further infor-mation on Infineon’s LED Driver ICs is available at http://www.infineon.com/cms/en/product/channel.html?channel=ff80808112ab681d0112ab6b15d7070e

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