Components | Electronics | Driver IC | Automotive | Displays | Aug 28, 2018

Maxim’s LED Backlight Driver - Smallest Footprint for Larger Automotive Displays

Automotive infotainment designers can now upgrade to bigger, higher resolution displays with greater ease, reduced cost and smaller solution size with the MAX20069 from Maxim Integrated Products, Inc. (NASDAQ: MXIM). The MAX20069 provides the industry’s first solution integrating four I2C-controlled, 150 mA LED backlight drivers and a four-output thin-film-transistor liquid-crystal display (TFT-LCD) bias in a single chip. The IC can reduce design footprint up to one-third compared to the closest competitor’s parts.

Automotive displays are growing larger and more sophisticated as vehicle manufacturers lure buyers with greater information and entertainment options. Market research suggests a 39 percent compound annual growth rate for the 8-inch display market in vehicle instrument clusters, center stack and heads-up display systems. Instrument clusters are expected to migrate to 12.3-inch displays soon. As a result, automotive infotainment system designers will require power solutions with precision, flexibility and small overall solution size to meet increasingly complex system requirements.

Key Advantages:
•    High Integration: Reduces design footprint, providing TFT-LCD bias with
     four rails plus four 150 mA LED backlight drivers.
    o    Single board supports panels from multiple manufacturers through
          a resistor or I²C programmable sequencing to further reduce solution size
    o    Utilizes 25 percent of the microcontroller (MCU) register bits versus
          closest competitor’s solution, eliminating the need for a more
          powerful and costlier MCU in display designs
•    Performance: Delivers twice the dimming ratio compared to the closest
     competitor’s offering, maintaining panel readability during transition to 
     different light conditions; MAX20069 supports increased resolution
     through a 10,000:1 pulse-width modulation (PWM) dimming ratio at 200 Hz
•    Safety and Built-in Diagnostics: An easy-to-use I²C interface quickly
     pinpoints problems, directing the microcontroller to adjust to conditions
     or alert the driver of a failure
•    Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) Mitigation: 2.2 MHz switching
     frequency, spread spectrum and phase-shift capabilities help mitigate 
     interference and emissions

MAX20069 supports larger screen sizes and higher resolution by providing positive analog supply voltage (PAVVD) and negative analog supply voltage (NAVDD), both of which are required for low-temperature polysilicon panels (LTPS) that deliver higher resolution and lower cost than amorphous silicon panels now currently in use. The IC also supports the high currents that next-generation displays require, with 150mA per channel in the four-channel LED driver for 8-inch or larger displays and higher resolutions. MAX20069 operates over the -40°C to 105°C ambient temperature range and is available in a 6x6 mm TQFN package.

“Automakers are using displays to transform vehicle interiors into a futuristic digital user experience for instrument clusters, center stacks, heads-up displays, eMirrors and other functions,” said Kevin Anderson, senior analyst, Power IC Research at IHS Markit. “We forecast that shipments of automotive panels will increase by 12 percent this year to reach 165 million units. Maxim’s integrated TFT-LCD bias and LED backlight driver aligns with the growth trends in this category. Anything that helps designers to lower cost, save design space or enhance safety will draw interest.”

“Automotive manufacturers are using more screens, larger panels and brighter displays across several vehicle lines to support a safer and more engaging experience on the road,” said Szukang Hsien, executive business manager, Automotive Business Unit, Maxim Integrated. “Maxim’s integrated LED backlight driver and TFT-LCD bias solution supports newer panel types to help automotive manufacturers adopt lower cost yet higher resolution panels with smaller solution size and a high level of integration.”

Availability and Pricing:

The MAX20069 is available at Maxim’s website for $4.40 (1000-up, FOB USA) and from select authorized distributors. The MAX20069EVKIT# evaluation kit is available for $45.

Further detailed information about MAX20069 is available at

About Maxim Integrated:

Maxim Integrated develops innovative analog and mixed-signal products and technologies to make systems smaller and smarter, with enhanced security and increased energy efficiency. We are empowering design innovation for our automotive, industrial, healthcare, mobile consumer, and cloud data center customers to deliver industry-leading solutions that help change the world. Learn more at