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Television Direct Backlight Topologies

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.

Direct backlight topologies offer the most contrast ratio and richest color quality for LCD Television. Direct backlight is not as popular as edge-lit topologies because of the inherent cost and application complexity. Direct backlight employs a greater number of LEDs and more complex control for zone dimming, allowing for the widest contrast ratio in the market. Direct backlight can be accomplished with white LEDs and RGB LEDs. The RGB LEDs offer color control and white point mixing, not offered with white LEDs. Both types of LEDs can be driven by Atmel LED Drivers to offer zone (regional) dimming up to 512 zones (the most zones offered by TV OEMs). LED drivers offer internal current sinks that can sink up to 100mA per string, eliminating the need for external NFETs. External DC to DC supplies are commonly used in direct backlight applications allowing 4 to 8 LED driver ICs to share a power supply, minimizing component cost and board area.

TopologyDescriptionAtmel LED Driver
  1. 32” to 60” Panels
  2. 2-D Dimming
  3. 16 to 32 Tiles
  4. Course Zone Dimming
  5. Improved Power Savings
  6. Low Cost Optics
MSL3082
  • 16 LED Strings
  • Internal 100mA MOSFET
  • Video Synchronization
  • Adaptive Power Scaling (3 Supplies)
  • 8 bit PWM Dimming
  • I2C/SPI Serial Interface
  1. 32” to 60” Panels
  2. 2-D Dimming
  3. 80 to 512 Tiles
  4. High Resolution Dimming
  5. Enhanced Contrast Ratio
MSL3163/64
  • 16 LED Strings
  • Internal 100mA MOSFET
  • Video Synchronization
  • Adaptive Power Scaling (3 Supplies)
  • 12 bit PWM Dimming
  • I2C/SPI Serial Interface
  1. 32” to 60” Panels
  2. 3-D Dimming
  3. 128 to 256 Tiles
  4. High Resolution Dimming
  5. Enhanced Contrast Ratio
  6. Rich Color Mixing
MSL3162
  • 16 LED Strings
  • Internal 100mA MOSFET
  • Video Synchronization
  • Adaptive Power Scaling (3 Supplies)
  • 8 bit PWM Dimming
  • I2C Serial Interface


LED Backlight ConfigurationProduct Number# of StringsMax String Current# of EOPower Supply Configuration
Direct-BacklightMSL3163161003Internal Current Sinks, External LED Supply
MSL3164161003
MSL416416603

EO=Efficiency Optimizer

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