A brighter outlook

National Semiconductor today introduced the world’s smallest backlight light emitting diode (LED) driver that controls lighting applications in handheld devices.


National Semiconductor today introduced the world’s smallest backlight light emitting diode (LED) driver that controls lighting applications in handheld devices, including cellular phones, digital still cameras, gaming devices and MP3 players.



Housed in a micro SMD package, the LP3954 advanced lighting management unit integrates two backlight drivers, a dual red-green-blue (RGB) LED controller, a Flash LED driver and an analogue-to-digital converter (ADC) on a single chip. The integrated, magnetic boost DC-DC converter is said to efficiently drive high current loads over a wide battery voltage range.



“Built-in, stand-alone features, including backlight fading, RGB control and audio synchronisation, allow differentiation and reduce software development time, helping manufacturers get their cellular phones to market faster,” said Gianluca Colli, director of integrated system products for National Semiconductor’s Portable Power Products Group.



The LP3954 is a lighting management unit that drives two separately controlled white LED backlights for the main and sub-display. In the case of a single large display, these units can be combined together to drive up to six LEDs.



The integrated backlight drivers are low-voltage structures with excellent matching that feature an automatic fade-in/fade-out function.



The enhanced, stand-alone, command-based RGB controller allows more flexible control of colour or RGB LEDs and is reportedly easy to configure. The high-current camera Flash LED driver has a programmable safety timer and features both a torch and a flash mode.



The Flash LED timing is triggered by an external signal, a key feature for cell phone cameras. An internal ADC enables either high resolution ambient light/temperature sensing or a built-in, multi-mode audio synchronisation feature that drives colour LEDs based on an audio input from an MP3, for example. The flexible SPI/I2C compatible interface allows easy control of the LP3954.


The LP3954 is housed in a tiny, 36-bump micro SMD lead-free package that measures 3 mm by 3 mm by 0.6 mm.