Lighting Our World with Less

Fluorescent and LED lights use 50 to 80 percent less energy than their incandescent counterparts. No wonder U.S. and European governments are pushing vendors for lighting solutions that rely on high frequency electronic ballasts. Successful ballast design depends on a few key tradeoffs:

  • Balancing ease of use against design complexity and cost
  • Balancing voltage and current control against design complexity and board space
  • Balancing functionality against low power consumption

Powerful, Easy-to-Use, Green Solutions

Atmel® microcontrollers and lighting controls deliver the functionality, convenience, and high performance demanded by today's high-frequency lighting ballast applications.

  • Flourescent Ballasts — With the right ballast design, today's fluorescent lights can produce warm, inviting light with no flickering or humming. The same high-frequency electronic ballast can be tailored for many types of fluorescent lighting applications—so you can make the most of your development investment.
  • HID Ballasts — Due to their high light (lumen) output per watt, HID lights work well in large indoor and outdoor public areas. They are also being increasingly used for vehicle headlights, projection TVs and displays.
  • LED Ballasts — The unique, low-power, non-flickering, directional output capabilities of LEDs make them perfect for indoor lighting under counters and in hallways and staircases; concentrated arrays can also be used for room lighting. Rugged and damage-resistant, LEDs are also a cost-effective solution for outdoor applications such as garden walkways and decorative features.
  • Lighting Control — In a competitive marketplace, customers demand sophisticated features and intuitive controls. Atmel® microcontrollers come with pre-tested and pre-certified software modules to speed prototyping, eliminate certification testing, keep costs in line and improve interoperability.
  • Industrial — Atmel® LED drivers offer solutions for industrial displays. An integrated DC-to-DC power supply controller and internal current sinks reduce component count, provide design flexibility and offer lowest overall system solution cost. These advanced devices also offer a digital control loop, which means they require no external components to manage the LED supply and regulate LED current up to 30mA per LED string with up to 12 LEDs per string. LED dimming is achieved through an external PWM signal or an internal 8-bit PWM engine. Analog dimming of LED string current is available for use with an ambient light sensor (ALS) and/or temperature management with a thermistor or IC temperature sensor.
  • TV Direct Backlight — For direct-backlight configurations, an external power supply allows for easy implementation of DC-to-DC boost or SEPTIC power supplies to drive 100mA per string. Atmel LED Drivers adaptively control the DC-DC/AC-DC converters that power the LED strings, using Atmel Efficiency Optimizer technology, which minimizes power use and maintains LED current accuracy. These high-power LED string drivers use internal current control MOSFETs to sink up to 100mA per string, and offer the ability to drive 16 parallel strings of ten white LEDs each, for a total of 160 white LEDs per device. Sixteen interconnected devices control up to 2560 white LEDs. Each string can be controlled individually to enable area (zone) dimming for highest dynamic range and significantly reduce power usage. These devices address the direct backlight LCD panel and monitor applications.
  • TV High-Voltage Edge-Lit — Edge-lit configurations use external power supplies and NFETs to allow voltage power supplies to drive a larger number of LEDs (72 LEDs) per string and can sink up 1A (determined by NFET ratings). Atmel LED drivers can drive up to 16 parallel strings of LEDs and offer fault detection and management of open-circuit and short-circuit LEDs. These devices address the edge-lit and high-brightness LEDs which require higher power while enabling dimming via external pulse width modulation (PWM) signals or analog current control with an internal digital-to-analog converter (DAC).
  • Solid-State Lighting — The Atmel family of general illumination LED drivers provides intelligent system control for multiple LED parallel arrays. These drivers are ideal for street lighting, tunnel lights, parking garage lights, fluorescent tube replacements, solar/off-grid lighting, mood and architectural lighting, and other general lighting applications. With a patented adaptive power scheme and correlated color temperature (CCT) compensation circuitry, you’ll be well equipped to meet your requirements for power-efficient, high-performance lighting products.

The Atmel Advantage

Atmel is proud of the technological advances in its portfolio of microcontrollers, touch, and wireless solutions that support the growing worldwide market for smarter, more efficient lighting solutions.

  • Ease of Use — Atmel developers can take advantage of the Atmel free tools, pre-tested and certified technology, embedded stacks, and software libraries to quickly develop reliable products with sophisticated, easy to use features that attract end users.
  • Low-Power Leader — Atmel Low-Power power-saving modes dramatically enhance battery life without sacrificing performance, so your products will be fast, green, and economical.
  • Feature-Rich Microcontrollers — Built-in features such as automatic dimming eliminates the need for additional components, while automatic Swiss, DALI, or 0 – 10V dimming control detection lets you choose one microcontroller to support multiple standards.
  • Flexible Solutions — An integrated, single-chip solution is simple to use and yields a smaller bill of materials (BOM). A two-chip solution gives you the flexibility to, for example, employ different transceivers for regional markets that use different frequency bands. With Atmel, you can choose the most cost-effective microcontroller based on your requirements.

Atmel LED Drivers Technology

Atmel® LED drivers are based on system-centric, mixed-signal LED driver technology for backlighting and solid-state lighting (SSL) applications. This broad-based and rapidly growing market includes LCD TVs, PC monitors, specialty panels (industrial, military, medical, avionics, etc.) and general illumination for the commercial, residential, industrial and government market segments. LED drivers utilize a proprietary and patented combination of analog and digital circuit techniques and power control schemes.

These products comprise a system-centric solution for local and global dimming, power management, signal conditioning and smart interfacing. This approach allows electronic equipment manufacturers to significantly enhance product features, while improving power efficiency, reliability and cost/performance.

Demonstration Kits

Enabling Technologies

  • Atmel Low Power
  • Atmel Touch Solutions
  • Atmel Hardware Security Solutions