Programmable Driver with Hardware Fade Engine for 36 LEDs or 12 RGBs

Kinetic Technologies plans to demonstrate what it claims to be the world's smallest 36-channel RGB LED Driver at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2019 in Las Vegas.

Colored LED lighting has become very common ranging from RGB indicators on AI speakers to arrays of LEDs covering entire buildings. Kinetic Technologies has created an innovative 36-channel RGB LED driver, the KTD2061, that the company says drastically reduces the design complexity and lowers the solution cost.

Conventional RGB drivers feature one output pin per channel. However, this design often requires large PCB routing spaces and expensive high-density interconnect circuit boards. On the other hand, the KTD2061 employs a multiplexing method called Charlieplexing to control 36 output channels with only 12 pins, thereby significantly lessening PCB routing and enabling the use of inexpensive two-layer PCBs.

The driver uses the company’s patented BrightExtend™ technology that enables battery operation.  It also decreases dropout when the input voltage is too low for the forward voltage of the LEDs.

Additionally, the driver offers a CoolExtend™ feature that is designed to prevent excessive heat when the ambient temperature, input voltage, or current settings exceed programmable limits.

The company says that the KTD2061 integrates a hardware fade engine per channel, and the driver is the first to do so.  The integration of a fade engine in each channel exponentially reduces the number of software commands usually required to implement a lighting pattern.

"The KTD2061 will free up a system's MCU and the I2C bus, potentially even allowing customers to choose a lower-cost processor," said David Nam, Vice President of Kinetic Technologies.

The KTD2061 can drive up to 36 LEDs or 12 RGBs. The device includes three Charlieplexed 4-wire buses to the LEDs. The driver’s design uses on a third of the pins and PCB traces.

Visit the Kinetic Technologies CES meeting suit between January 8 and 10 to see a live demonstration of the KTD2061. Speak with the engineering team to learn about more details of this innovative product and the various application usages. Email [email protected] to schedule a meeting.

The driver can power up to a 24mA/LED in steps of 125µA. Night mode enables up to 1.5mA/LED in 8µA steps, and it has a 3-bit Programmable Fade-Rate with smooth 8µA steps. The driver enables Li-Ion battery operation and comes with a short-circuit, open LED, dropout, Tj warm, UVLO, or thermal shutdown 1MHz I2C serial interface.

Kinetic Technologies
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