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LED drivers simplify design of indoor/outdoor display signs

Posted: 02 Jun 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Maxim Integrated Products? MAX6972? MAX6973? MAX6974? MAX6975?

Maxim Integrated Products announced the MAX6972 and MAX6973 (16-port) and the MAX6974 and MAX6975 (24-port) constant-current LED driver family. These drivers include features to simplify the design of large RGB indoor/outdoor LED display signs. According to the press release, the company's EZCascade intelligent cascading technology combined with a low-voltage differential signaling (LVDS) interface enables cascading thousands of drivers over long distances. This approach cuts cost by reducing the need for multiple expensive processors and simplifies display designs, explained Maxim.

The new LED drivers integrate an 8bit DAC to provide 256-steps of programmable constant-current outputs. The outputs are matched port to port by 1 percent, which allows LEDs from different lots or manufacturers to be used easily in the same system. In addition, 19 bits of global and individual PWM are provided to support high resolution for intensity and hue control.

Other driver features include slew-rate-limited outputs to reduce EMI. Data transfer is through a 35Mbps LVDS serial interface to support up to 65fps, enabling full-motion video on giant LED displays. Furthermore, a watchdog timer and LED fault detection enable the designer to easily identify faulty LEDs by simply reading the serial data stream.

The MAX6972/MAX6973 and MAX6974/MAX6975 devices operate over the extended -45C to 125C temperature range, and are available in 32-pin and 40-pin TQFN packages, respectively. Prices start at $4.12 for the MAX6972/MAX6973, and $5.55 for the MAX6974/MAX6975 (1,000-up, FOB USA).

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