Cypress Semiconductor Corp. (NYSE:CY) announced significant enhancements for its award winning EZ-Color(tm) design solution for intelligent color and white LED lighting systems. The new ColorLock(tm) feature enables designers to use optical feedback to automatically ensure precise color points over time and temperature for applications such as LCD backlighting, architectural lighting and more. The EZ-Color solution also adds new tools to further support white lighting design. Both features dramatically cut design time by allowing users to complete designs without any C or Assembly coding required.
The EZ-Color family of LED controllers combines with PSoC Express(tm), the industry’s first visual embedded design tool to deliver a complete design solution for growing applications such as general illumination, architectural lighting, general signage, entertainment lighting and more. The solution enables designers to simply select an LED part number, choose either temperature or optical feedback, and choose a color, including white.
“The new ColorLock optical feedback feature and further white lighting support bring the EZ-Color benefits of simplified design and faster time-to-market to a much broader range of applications,” said Gopal Garg, managing director of the Lighting Solutions Business Unit for Cypress.
For LCD backlight and other applications that need optical feedback, the new ColorLock feature provides an easy way for designers to guard against LED degradation caused by heat and time. Users can calibrate a color sensor and set the color coordinates using either industry standard 1976 CIELUV or 1931 XYZ color space charts, and then set a range of allowable deviations. Adding to the precision of intelligent lighting, Cypress has incorporated the ability to alter a single LED or set color point for streamlined calibration. The EZ-Color controller receives input from the color sensor and, working in concert with PSoC Express, automatically adjusts the flux output of the LEDs to match the color specified by the designer.
The upgraded EZ-Color solution has also simplified the optimization of the Color Rendering Index (CRI) of white lighting designs by giving users the ability to select white light temperatures points that reproduce the widest range of colors. CRI is a measure of how well a light source can reproduce the natural colors of objects.
Cypress also introduced the new CY3263 evaluation kit, which provides the firmware to create ColorLock drivers in PSoC Express, along with a color sensor and control loop targeted at the LCD backlight, architectural lighting and general signage markets. The evaluation board has a dedicated test pin for the DMX512 protocol, which is ideal for creating intelligent lighting networks. The kit includes a MiniProg, a 5v LCD display, a USB cable, a CD with PSoC Express, Gerber files and schematics. The kit is available on the Cypress Online Store and from authorized distributors for US$249.
About the EZ-Color Solution
LED lighting design requires a complex set of calculations with custom firmware to deliver consistent color. The two biggest problems that LED lighting engineers face are having to account for differing LED performance specifications based on manufacturing bins and the LEDs’ degradation (such as output flux, wavelength etc.) over different temperatures. With PSoC Express, designers simply select a color from a gamut presented on-screen. Pre-loaded manufacturers’ bin specifications and choice of either temperature or optical feedback algorithms are automatically applied to the selected design and programmed into the EZ-Color Controller. This can save anywhere from weeks to months of design time for a complex design.
EZ-Color LED controllers can support up to 16 LED strings, compared to four or five strings for competitive devices. The additional strings can mean a savings of dozens or even hundreds of controllers in very large designs, cutting design complexity, power consumption and board space. The EZ-Color LED controllers are powered by Cypress patent pending PrISM(tm) (Precise Illumination Signal Modulation) technology. The PrISM modulation technology significantly reduces low-frequency flicker and radiated electro-magnetic interference (EMI)—common problems in LED lighting designs. Designers also have the flexibility to add additional functionality to the EZ-Color controllers, including battery charging, motor control, thermal feedback, programmable control gear and other features.
The EZ-Color family is supported by the CY3261A-RGB Evaluation Kit. The evaluation kit showcases EZ-Color’s flexibility and ease of use for high-brightness LED color mixing applications and employs temperature compensation for consistent color. Included with the evaluation kit is an interactive graphical interface enabling quick color mixing via a CIE diagram or by directly controlling each LED. The kit is available on the Cypress Online Store for US$149.
Cypress delivers high-performance, mixed-signal, programmable solutions that provide customers with rapid time-to-market and exceptional system value. Cypress offerings include the PSoC® Programmable System-on-Chip(tm), USB controllers, general-purpose programmable clocks and memories. Cypress also offers wired and wireless connectivity solutions ranging from its WirelessUSB(tm) radio system-on-chip, to West Bridge(tm) and EZ-USB® FX2LP controllers that enhance connectivity and performance in multimedia handsets. Cypress serves numerous markets including consumer, computation, data communications, automotive, industrial, and solar power. Cypress trades on the NYSE under the ticker symbol CY.
Cypress, the Cypress logo, PSoC and EZ-USB are registered trademarks, and, EZ-Color, ColorLock, PrISM, PSoC Express, WirelessUSB and West Bridge are trademarks of Cypress Semiconductor Corporation.