Products, Materials & Tools | May 04, 2012

NXP Brings ARM Cortex-M0 to DALI and DMX512 Lighting Control Systems

NXP Semiconductors N.V. introduced the industry’s first development platforms for DALI and DMX512 wired lighting control systems based on the low-cost, low-power 32-bit ARM® Cortex™-M0 processor. The new evaluation systems feature an NXP LPC1100XL series microcontroller, which is uniquely suited to handle the communication requirements for intelligent lighting projects using DALI and DMX. In addition, the DMX512 system includes a master controller board with the LPC11U00, a highly flexible USB microcontroller, also based on the Cortex-M0. NXP will showcase a single system using DALI and DMX at LIGHTFAIR International next week in Las Vegas (booth 3335).

Both the DALI and DMX512 systems can be connected to any of NXP’s lamp drivers using the PWM outputs of the Cortex-M0 processor. NXP will also offer an optional evaluation system to simplify RGB LED power stage design.

“By bringing Cortex-M0 to lighting control systems using DALI and DMX512, we’re making it straightforward for lighting designers to upgrade from 8-bit microcontrollers without increasing costs. The extra-low-power options available with the LPC1100 microcontroller also make it a compelling solution for DALI lighting systems, where total energy savings are a critical factor,” said Marco Scarazzati, product applications engineer, NXP Semiconductors. “For DMX networks, the LPC1100XL offers the resources and performance required to support more sophisticated architectural and stage lighting projects.”

Cortex-M0: A Simple Choice for DALI and DMX512
The first DALI and DMX512 evaluation systems available from NXP feature an LPC1114 microcontroller based on the Cortex-M0. The popular LPC1100XL series microcontroller offers a unique combination of features making it ideally suited for intelligent lighting projects using DALI, the Digital Addressable Lighting Interface, or DMX512.

Performance. With performance up to 45 DMIPS, the 50-MHz LPC1100XL series offers the resources required for a single MCU to code and decode DALI and DMX messages and generate PWM signals, with enough bandwidth available for the end application.
Low Power Consumption. With the introduction of the new extra-low-power LPC1100XL series, NXP provides the industry’s lowest 32-bit active power consumption at 110 uA/MHz, and standby power consumption below 2 uA.
Storage of Scene Settings. Storing scene settings and other programs in non-volatile memory is straightforward, using EEPROM emulation in flash or by using integrated EEPROM, now available in the LPC11E00 series.
PWM Signals for Color and Dimming. Offering up to four 16-bit and 32-bit timers, the LPC1100XL series can generate up to 11 PWM signals to control and dim the ballast.
Reduced Development Time. Embedded lighting applications can be programmed in C, significantly reducing development complexity. A basic DALI driver is available from NXP. For DMX lighting networks, development time is further reduced through the NXP solution, which already implements basic functions and Remote Device Management (RDM) in a fully DMX512-compliant software stack.
Reduced Bill of Materials. By offering many built-in peripherals to interface with lighting drivers and network interfaces in a tiny footprint, the LPC1100XL offers significant cost savings in the total BoM.

Low-Cost Options for USB Connectivity
The DMX512 evaluation system will include a master unit featuring the LPC11U14 microcontroller. Based on the ARM Cortex-M0, the LPC11U00 series delivers robust USB performance at a compelling price point; a highly flexible USB architecture with up to 10 configurable physical endpoints; and extensive power controls. Another option available from NXP is the LPC1300 series – the lowest power Cortex-M3 microcontroller available on the market and pin-to-pin compatible with the LPC11U00 – which includes USB Mass Storage and HID Class drivers stored in ROM.

Power Stage Featuring GreenChip Technology
As an additional option, NXP offers a small form factor, highly efficient RGB LED power stage with a low component count. The power stage meets the EMC requirements of commercial lighting applications and offers significant energy savings for both DALI and DMX wired lighting control systems. Key features include:
High-efficiency LED dimming. LED dimming is implemented using the PWM input of the NXP UBA3070 DC-to-DC LED driver, which offers up to 98-percent efficiency.
Mains isolation, high efficiency at all power levels, and simplified design. The SSL4101 provides mains isolation for both the RGB LED power stage and the DALI/DMX wires. In addition, it offers low component count and high efficiency through integrated PFC and flyback control functionality.
Ultra-low standby power consumption. The GreenChip™ TEA1721 buck converter supplies the Cortex-M0 processor with high efficiency and offers significant power savings in standby, with no-load power consumption levels below 10 mW.

“As energy prices rise and green building regulations go into effect around the world, we expect strong growth in the use of DALI lighting control networks that enable businesses to save energy while enhancing comfort, convenience and productivity. In architectural and entertainment lighting, recent advances in LEDs have opened new opportunities for lighting control networks using DMX512,” said Jan Willem Vogel, senior director of marketing, Appliances, Energy and Automation segment, NXP Semiconductors. “Our latest DALI and DMX512 systems show how the power of 32-bit microcontrollers can deliver tremendous value by supporting the ever-increasing complexity of lighting network nodes – without adding cost. From wired lighting and control networks using DALI, DMX and KNX, to wireless solutions using JenNet-IP and ZigBee, NXP now offers a full range of energy-efficient options for intelligent lighting networks in homes, buildings and outdoor settings.”

Availability
The first DALI evaluation system (OM13026) is available immediately from NXP account managers and distributors. The DMX512 evaluation systems will be available later this month. Further information is available at http://www.nxp.com/applications/lighting/wired-lighting-networks/

Links
NXP solutions for wired lighting networks using DALI: http://www.nxp.com/applications/lighting/wired-lighting-networks/dali.html
NXP solutions for wired lighting networks using DMX512: http://www.nxp.com/applications/lighting/wired-lighting-networks/dmx.html

About NXP Semiconductors
NXP Semiconductors N.V. (NASDAQ: NXPI) provides High Performance Mixed Signal and Standard Product solutions that leverage its leading RF, Analog, Power Management, Interface, Security and Digital Processing expertise. These innovations are used in a wide range of automotive, identification, wireless infrastructure, lighting, industrial, mobile, consumer and computing applications. A global semiconductor company with operations in more than 25 countries, NXP posted revenue of $4.2 billion in 2011. Additional information can be found by visiting www.nxp.com.

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