Dimming LED Controller Claims Highest Level of Integration

Marvell Technology Group Ltd. announced the Marvell® 88EM8187 phase-cut, deep-dimming, single-stage ac-dc constant-current controller for dimmable LED lamps and fixtures. This second-generation LED driver IC builds on the industry-leading, 88EM8183 by using unique mixed-signal architecture with on-chip advanced digital algorithms. The 88EM8187 product line claims unparalleled performance with full compatibility to more than 250 dimmers worldwide, shimmer-less and flicker-free dimming as low as 1 percent, longer bulb lifetime due to superior thermal management and power efficiency of 90 percent, while significantly reducing electronic component count and total solution cost.

A key component of verifying this unparalleled dimming performance was the collaborative testing of pre-release versions of the IC with lighting control leader Lutron Electronics Co., Inc. The 88EM8187 is also part of Marvell’s Internet of Things (IoT) Smart Home lighting portfolio, offering a total solution for connected smart lighting applications. Marvell is currently sampling 88EM8187 to major LED lighting OEMs and ODMs around the world. Customers are expected to ship products based on the 88EM8187 this year.

“The 88EM8187 raises the performance bar for the entire industry as consumers can now get the true incandescent experience that includes excellent dimming performance along with the energy savings provided by LEDs,” said Philip Poulidis, Vice-President and GM of Internet of Things Business Unit. “Even the best of the available competing IC solutions require bulb manufacturers to make several trade-offs when developing a product. For example, manufacturers may need to limit the number of wall-box dimmers with which their LED bulbs are compatible, to sacrifice dimming level performance and avoid flicker or shimmer, as well as the need to choose higher reliability or efficiency at the expense of higher component cost. However, the 88EM8187 and its unique digital architecture deliver the best performance in the industry at the lowest system cost by excelling in compatibility, reliability, efficiency, deep-dimming level, and low component count without forcing OEMs to compromise their hardware designs.”

“Working with Marvell to enable higher-performing, cost effective, dimmable LED driver solutions will help address the ongoing compatibility issue between LEDs and dimmers and provide an excellent customer experience,” said Mark Jenner, Lutron’s Director of New Business Alliances. “For example, pairing Marvell’s new 88EM8187 design with any of our C–L dimmers provides a superior dimming experience from one lamp to the dimmer’s full rated load without shimmer, flicker, or interaction with other dimmers. These types of reliable solutions provide consumers with the confidence to use more energy-efficient LED bulbs throughout their homes.”

Marvell confirmed dimming compatibility with Lutron Electronics between a pre-release version of an 88EM8187 reference design and a variety of Lutron controls rated for LED loads. As a service to the lighting industry, the Lutron LED Center of Excellence continually tests LED lamps for compatibility with the Lutron C–L dimmer collection. With its industry leading C–L technology, the dimmer collection was designed specifically for LED lamps, but is also UL-listed for incandescent, halogen and CFL loads.

Key benefits of the Marvell 88EM8187 driver IC product line include: Premium dimming performance with 100 percent worldwide dimmer compatibility including leading-edge, trailing-edge and special (Smart) dimmers, enabling flicker-free, shimmer-less deep dimming as low as 1 percent. Reduced system BOM cost with fewer and smaller components in EMI/damping/dimmer level control circuit. Up to 25 percent cost savings over competing single-stage driver solutions.

Integrated thermal fold back feature and optimized dimmer latch-up and hold-up current management that removes heat from power components or “hot spots” dramatically improving reliability and removes potting requirement for further cost reduction. Highest driver electrical performance including up to 90 percent driver efficiency, industry-best line regulation over wide AC voltage range ( 0.95 Power Factor. Two package options the SOIC-8 with phase-cut only, pin-to-pin compatible with first generation 88EM8183 chip or a SOIC-14 for phase-cut only, enabling a lower-cost single-layer PCB.

Marvell Technology Group Ltd.
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