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Freescale positions LED backlight driver for notebooks, FPDs

Posted: 10 Sep 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:LED backlight driver? LCD display? white LED driver?

MC34844 white LED driver IC

Freescale Semiconductor is now sampling the first LED backlight product in its power management IC portfolio. The 10-channel MC34844 white LED driver IC is designed for LED backlights in notebook computers, as well as in flat-panel monitors with screen sizes ranging from 10-inch to 27-inch.

According to IMS Research, the market for semiconductors used in backlighting applications, including LED driver ICs, will grow from $1.1 billion in 2008 to $2 billion in 2012. Currently, LED backlights are prevalent in smaller LCDs for cellphones, GPS devices and PDAs. However, LEDs are now being implemented in larger LCD modules used in laptops, monitors and large-screen TVs.

"We expect the market for LED backlighting in notebooks, monitors and TVs to grow strongly," said Jamie Fox, a market research analyst for IMS Research. "In notebooks in particular, rapid growth is widely expected from 2008 to 2010."

"LED backlighting is a disruptive technology that will spur innovation and growth in the LCD market and enable more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly LCD displays," said Arman Naghavi, vice president and general manager of Freescale's analog, mixed-signal and power division. "The market for LED backlights offers untapped potential as growth opportunities expand from laptops and monitors to LCD TVs and automotive, consumer and industrial lighting applications."

With the launch of its LED backlight driver IC portfolio, Freescale plans to expand into growing backlighting markets, such as large-screen DTVs and commercial lighting. Conventional LCD TVs without LED backlight technology are major energy consumers within households, noted Freescale. LED backlights with local dimming can help reduce power consumption by up to 30 percent by allowing manufacturers to adopt thinner, lighter form factors, said the company.

Freescale plans to announce LED backlighting solutions for LCD TVs in Q1 09. Also in 2009, the company expects to pursue the LED lighting market for automotive, commercial and residential applications, which is expected to eventually dwarf the LCD TV market.

The MC34844 integrates a pulse-width modulation (PWM) generator, which supports LED dimminga feature that helps improve picture quality and achieve long screen life. The device is designed to deliver consistent performance over the lifetime of the LEDs by compensating for optical and temperature degradation.

Freescale is currently sampling the MC34844 LED driver IC for laptops and monitor applications. Broader market availability is planned for Q4 08. Suggested resale price in 10K quantities is $1.44.

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