Three years ago Nichia Corporation and Infineon Technologies AG announced the joint development of a high-definition (HD) light engine with more than 16,000 micro-LEDs for headlight applications. Now, both companies are launching industry’s first fully integrated micro-LED light engine for HD adaptive driving beam applications. The micro-LED matrix solution will be seen in a German premium vehicle in 2023.
“The new 16,384 pixel µPLS™ micro-Pixelated Light Solution is our latest addition to Nichia’s portfolio of high-class automotive lighting solutions,” said Yusuke Yamazaki, Head of Sales and Marketing Automotive, Nichia Europe GmbH. “It combines high-definition resolution with industry’s highest light output. This solution enables a new automotive lighting experience by providing four-times wider field-of-view with significantly higher light output than any other current micro-mirror based HD matrix-light solution. For this reason, the advanced HD light can warn drivers of hazards by highlighting people or objects on or by the side of the road. It can also project markings on the road to guide the driver through a construction site or intersection. In addition, functions such as the glare-free high beam or bending light work more precisely and smoothly compared to current adaptive driving beam solutions. This takes the driver’s road safety and driving comfort to a new level.”
“The µPLS is industry’s first fully integrated matrix LED driver capable of driving 16,384 LEDs, combining all required micro-LED driver circuitry with extensive diagnostics and high-speed video and control interfaces,” said Andreas Doll, Infineon’s Senior Vice-President and General Manager of the Business Unit Body Power of Infineon’s Automotive Division. “Our innovative µPLS is much more energy efficient than current HD matrix lighting solutions, contributing to saving global CO 2 emissions and extending the range of electric driven vehicles. Furthermore, we enable the vision of our customers to deploy fully digital light on the road, saving them overall system cost at a very small form factor at the size of a single semiconductor chip. The µPLS is another great example of how Infineon products support digitalization as well as decarbonization towards a net-zero society.”
The new HD light engine uses Nichia’s micro-LED technology and an integrated LED driver IC from Infineon that can drive all 16,384 micro-LEDs individually using pulse-width modulation (PWM) control. Additionally, the driver IC monitors each micro-LED separately and provides on-chip temperature monitoring allowing for optimal thermal control. Integrated video interfaces enable high-speed transmission of the video signal from the light pattern generator unit. Unlike current HD matrix solutions, Infineon’s driver IC only activates the LEDs that are actually needed for a light pattern. This dramatically increases the energy efficiency of the µPLS light engine at much smaller form factor compared to micro-mirror-based HD matrix solutions in the market.
This allows for smaller and slimmer headlamp designs in the future. In addition, the new HD light engine enables adjustments that can be digitally programmed at the factory or activated by the vehicle manufacturer or driver on demand. For example, the different requirements of left- and right-handed drivers can be considered, significantly increasing user-friendliness. With all these features, the new HD light significantly reduces design and production complexity for vehicle manufacturers.
About Nichia Corporation
Having “Ever Researching for a Brighter World” as a motto, Nichia takes great pride in being the technology leader and world’s largest LED and laser diode manufacturer. Founded in 1956 as a specialty chemical producer, Nichia quickly became the leader in luminescent materials (phosphors). Nichia later developed and commercialized the first high-brightness blue LED in 1993 and the first white LED in 1996. Additional nitride-based LEDs in various colors were developed, including ultraviolet and visible Laser Diodes. Nichia believes that its products will remain at the forefront of energy-efficient solutions throughout the world for years to come. Nichia will continue to be a company that makes contributions to the world by evolving its original and unique technologies and “Ever Researching for a Brighter World.” More information is available at www.nichia.com.
More information on Infineon’s commitment to New Mobility: www.infineon.com/cms/en/discoveries/new-mobility/