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Improve road safety with automotive headlights: LED matrix manager

Jun 01, 2017

In general, the headlamp of a car is generally a light-emitting diode (LED) headlight unit with a switch mode regulator. This type of LED headlamp is static, either in the connected state, or is broken. When you encounter bad weather, the driver may open the fog lamp, or in the night when driving the use of low beam, climbing in the use of high beam. However, do you encounter the situation in the following figure (shown in Figure 1)? When the car opens the high beam will be issued when the dazzling light, and this glare will affect the line of sight, so quite dangerous.


Figure 1: The traditional car headlight technology

If there is an intelligent system to detect the vehicle coming to the opposite lane and close some of the high beam (as shown in Figure 2), or can change the angle of the light according to the position of the vehicle on the opposite lane, is it from a certain meaning Improve road safety? In recent years, car manufacturers around the world continue to invest in research and development in this area, and some high-end cars are now using such technology. Here, let's take a look at what kind of car headlights in the end.

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Figure 2: adaptive headlight lighting

The Advanced Driving Assistance System (ADAS) includes a camera for detecting the image around the car and providing real-time information to the car's central control system. The headlamps are made of small pixels and can be turned on and off separately, or the light intensity is adjusted. The driver can give feedback to the ADAS to inform the headlamps that the vehicle should perform different operations based on the real-time position of the opposite vehicle. This is the anti-glare function achieved in the adaptive headlamp. In addition, the adaptive headlamp can also use the power to switch or adjust the remote, low beam and other operations without using the engine.


At the end of 2014, TI's TPS92661-Q1 LED matrix manager made it possible for headlamp manufacturers to produce adaptive headlights. It can control 12 series LED, just connect it all to TPS92661-Q1 can be. The MCU running under the Universal Asynchronous Receiver / Transmitter (UART) protocol can command each LED pixel in the TPS92661-Q1 control matrix. A UART system can be connected up to eight TPS92661-Q1 devices (3 physical address pins); therefore, the maximum number of pixels available for an adaptive headlamp is 96.


The TPS92661-Q1 LED matrix manager has 12 separate switches that are parallel to the LEDs. Upon completion of the connection, the LED can turn on, turn off, or perform pulse width modulation (PWM) dimming. The TPS92661-Q1 provides 10-bit PWM dimming resolution or 1024-level brightness control for each individual LED. Since all LEDs are connected to the device separately, the open case will receive protection from the device switch short circuit, and its internal registers will be able to record faults when an LED is open or shorted.


A car with an adaptive LED headlamp can not only improve road safety, but also an adaptive technology that creates a safer driving experience for the driver, which is a win-win innovation.

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