From New CAN Protocols to LED Arrays, LED Innovations Shine Bright
LEDs have come a long way since their inception in the 1960s at General Electric. Here is a roundup of three innovations in lighting technology.
It's been a big year for LED innovations, including LED solutions from STMicroelectronics, Avicena, and ams OSRAM. These include new protocols, UV-C radiation, and arrays, all of which may simplify a range of lighting applications. This article rounds up three LED technologies built for applications ranging from automotive lighting to sanitization.
High-power UV-C LED Solution Powers Sanitization
Artificial UV-C radiation attacks the cell structures of microorganisms, alters their microbial DNA, and ultimately disrupts their replication capability. ams OSRAM offers the OSLON UV 6060 solution, an addition to its high-power UV-C LED portfolio, which generates adequate UV-C radiation for a wide range of purification applications. According to ams OSRAM, this innovation promises unprecedented benefits to sanitization-intensive applications, regardless of space constraints.
OSLON UV 6060 LED. Image used courtesy of ams OSRAM
The OSLON UV 6060 offers an "industry-leading" wall-plug efficiency of up to 5.7% and high germicidal effectiveness of 265nm. This LED can adequately eliminate disease-causing microorganisms in daily applications, including air, surface, and water purification. The OSLON UV 6060 features a compact footprint of 6 mm x 6 mm, maximizing design flexibility in space-critical applications, such as air conditioners and washing machine sanitization.
The solution offers an estimated 100 mW of power out of a single die source and an optical power of 250 mA. ams OSRAM claims this LED enables advanced treatment not only for consumer applications, such as surface sanitization, but also for industrial applications, such as air treatment in public spaces.
LED Arrays Streamline Optical Communication
At the European Conference for Optical Communications (ECOC) 2022 in Switzerland, Avicena, a developer of microLED low-energy optical links, demonstrated its LightBundleTM multi-Tbps chip-to-chip interconnect technology. This technology handles several issues with conventional optical communication technologies, such as high power consumption, low bandwidth density, and high cost.
The technology leverages microLED array-based, low-power, and high-density optical transceivers, supporting up to 14 Gbps per lane at a temperature range of -40°C to +125°C. LightBundle technology enables low-cost multi-Tbps interconnects with a reach of up to 10 m.
How the LightBundle technology works. Image used courtesy of Avicena
The LightBundle interconnects hundreds of parallel optical lanes within a microLED-based optical transmitter array. These arrays use CMOS-based optical receiver arrays over multi-core fiber cables. This interconnection of micro-LEDs and CMOS IC-based silicon detectors minimizes power links down the 1 pJ/bit with up to 10 m reach. LightBundle improves electrical link performance and efficiency for high-performance compute (HPC) architectures.
This technology extends the reach of existing interconnects, such as HBM/DDR/GDDR memory links and PCIe/CXL. The low power and low latency of LightBundle maximize the functionality of several inter-processor interconnects, such as NVLink, and other parallel chipset interfaces, such as UCIe, BoW, and OpenHBI.
The CAN FD Light Protocol Simplifies Automotive Light Control
STMicroelectronics' L99LDLH32 linear current regulator uses the CAN FD Light protocol to deliver dynamic automotive lighting control. The protocol succeeds the CAN and CAN FD protocols with significant improvements for simpler designs, robust capabilities, and advanced safety features, such as a 64-bit data frame with cyclic-redundancy-check (CRC). The protocol is designed for high-contrast, homogeneous, and bright OLED lamps and enables complex light patterns and effects for enhanced safety and styling.
The L99LDLH32 leverages the CAN FD Light protocol to drive individual LED pixels in interior and exterior lighting applications. The driver includes global dimming with 8-bit resolution. STMicroelectronics noted that the synchronized commander/responder communication of this protocol eliminates the need for external components such as timing crystals since the protocol adequately controls lights, sensors, and other simple devices.
STMicroelectronics' OLEDWorks presentation of a CAN FD Light-powered 3D digital OLED. Image used courtesy of OLEDWorks
The CAN FD Light protocol offers several benefits over existing CAN protocols for industrial applications, including improved architecture, increased efficiency, and easy accessibility and adoption. Unlike the CAN and CAN FD protocols, which leverage a multi-commander topology, CAN FD Light relies on the simpler commander-responder architecture that directly commands each LED unit using the main controller.
This simpler architecture maximizes the protocol's technical effectiveness while eliminating the need for complex software that manages simple units. The protocol also removes the need for other costly units, such as ceramic resonators and crystal oscillators—cutting down the total design and development costs of OLED technologies. Finally, while there is a misconception that a dedicated standard is underway for this new protocol, existing CAN standards allow users to adopt easily CAN FD Light.