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Compact car IC enhances capacity of vehicle systems

Posted: 27 Oct 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:driver? signal? controller?

STMicroelectronics is sampling a chip that creates major signals necessary to drive vehicle door-mounted systems, as well as an enhancement for controlling electrochrome (EC) rear-view mirrors. The L99DZ70XP combined driver IC minimizes discrete drivers usually mounted in multiple locations inside the door, enabling compact, integrated door-zone controllers that are customizable and render greater long-term reliability.

Traditional EC controllers generally use a regulator that needs high-power external resistor, but the L99DZ70XP provides control signals for a small external MOSFET driving the EC element. This reduces space and cost and allows closed-loop current control for better reliability.

Six of the chip sample outputs are optimized for motor-drive applications such as mirror positioning and folding, and door-lock actuation. At least four drivers are made for lighting applications, and two of these can be programmed to drive either LEDs or conventional bulbs. Another output is enhanced to drive the mirror defroster. Each driver uses pulse-width modulation for accurate current control. Other functions include soft starting for loads such as motors or bulbs and preventing high initial currents that may cause damaging surges within the vehicle wiring.

The L99DZ70XP has serial communications over an industry-standard SPI link to exchange information with the host controller, including diagnostic information for each output to help fault-finding and repair.

- Ismini Scouras

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