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ROHM Debuts Automotive-Grade Backlight LED Driver for Automotive LCDs

October 02, 2019 by Luke James

ROHM's new LED backlight has been optimized for use in electric vehicle LCD panels between three and 12 inches. The new backlight driver enables common control board designs.

Announced on September 17, 2019, ROHM's new automotive-grade backlight LED driver IC—the BD81A76EFV-M—has been optimized for LCD backlight in central information displays, car navigation systems, and instrument cluster. 

Unlike other drivers, the driver from ROHM provides six output channels with 120mA per channel that can support LCD panels up to 12 inches. This is a clear improvement on more conventional drivers that can only support LCDs up to 8 inches and have only four channels. 


Paving the Way for Common LCD Control Board Designs

ROHM's new driver makes it possible for a common design for LCD control boards to be developed that are suitable for both today's more conventional panels and the latest, larger-sized LCD displays. 

In recent years, more and more vehicles have been hitting the market with their cutting-edge infotainment systems, head-up displays, GPS and car navigation systems, and information and instrument clusters, among other things—all of which use LCDs. These help to improve design, visibility, and usability in the automotive industry, as well as bring today's vehicles more in line with the latest innovations in automotive and consumer technology.


The BD81A76EFV-M LED driver

The BD81A76EFV-M LED driver. Image courtesy of ROHM Semiconductor.


As in-car systems that utilize LCDs become bigger and more advanced, they require more LEDs for increased brightness, backlighting, and multi-channel operation for dimming features that fix flickering effects. 

To satisfy the market needs, ROHM has developed its analog design technology to create its BD81A76EFV-M driver technology to both contribute to a common control board design and achieve flicker-free operation. 

Stefan Drouzas, Product Marketing Manager of Automotive Display Products at ROHM, said, "ROHMs new LED driver allows flexibility of design in modern display architectures and ensures backward compatibility providing cost-effectiveness"


BD81A76EFV-M Driver Features

According to ROHM, the driver has a set of core features that make it stand out from others currently available.

First up, the BD81A76EFV-M uses ROHM's proprietary buck-boost control to support the move to a common control board design and provide greater flexibility in LCD applications; comparable drivers use only boost control and can invariably drive only 36 to 60 LEDs (6 – 10 LEDs per channel) whereas ROHM's driver IC expands this to 6 to 60 LEDs, or 1 – 10 LEDs per channel. 

The driver also features class-leading six-channel output for compatibility with 12-inch displays. As mentioned above, this allows for best-in-class six-channel LED current output of up to 120 mA per channel.

Finally, low standby current minimizes the driver's power consumption of 10 microamps, 75% less than comparable drivers with a standby current of 40 microamps. This is achieved through analog design expertise and ROHM's own process technologies. 


What is ROHM?

ROHM Semiconductor is an industry leader in the design and manufacture of discrete components and module products that use the latest in semiconductor technology. ROHM utilizes its own proprietary production system, featuring advanced automation technology, to remain at the forefront of the electronic component manufacturing industry. 

The driver is available to sample now with OEM orders taken from October. 

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