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General Digitals microprocesso r-based LED Backlight Controller has been designed to support LCD Monitor applications that require sunlight readabilit y, as well as night time vision (NVIS) performance. This controller is optimally designed to drive up to four (4) LED rails (up to two sunlight readable rails and up to two NVIS rails). The controller will operate from +12 Vdc to +34 Vdc and drives LEDs up to 10 amps in sunlight readable mode, and 3 amps in NVIS mode. The maximum and minimum brightness for each mode of operation (sunlight readable/ NVIS) is programmable. The controller allows brightness control from full off to full brightness in both modes of operation, providing 256 steps and more than 1000:1 dimming. It accepts both push button brightness control via a membrane switch or mechanical buttons (Fig. 4) or a 10K analog potentiometer (Fig. 5). In sunlight mode, the maxand controlled to prevent condiimum current is monitored can threate n the healt h of the LCD and/o r othe r monitor electronics . When the rail temperatur e exceeds a predete rmined over temperature limit, the controlle r automatically reduces the backligh t brightnes s (e.g. 80%) to reduce powe r consumption , whic h in turn, will reduce the amount of heat generated . If the temperatur e continue s to rise and reaches a successive the limit threshold , the n the backlight brightnes s is furthe r reduced . In the event tha t OVER TEMPER ATURE ALGORITHM Our microprocesso r-drive n LED controlle r is configure d to communicat e wit h a pair of temperatur e sensors (the rmistors). This abilit y enables our controlle r to monito r the temperatur e of our LED Backlight rails. The LED controller s firmwar e can be programme d to respon d to over temperature condition s that can resul t from failure of the monito r s electronic s (e.g., fans), operato r error (e.g., blocked fan airflow), or environmenta l condition s (e.g., air conditionin g failure, solar radiatio n or extrem e heat) that rail temperatur e reporte d exceeds a final limit, the completel y. The backligh t backligh t is turned off brightnes s will be


the rmal runaway under extreme temperature

tions, assuring long life for the LEDs. Operators may select between sunlight mode and NVIS mode via a two-pin input from a mechanical switch or TTL signal.

Serial Layout

Figure 1

Serial-Parallel Layout

Figure 2

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restore d to various brightnes s levels as the rail temperature retu rns to normal operatin g levels (Fig. 3). Since General Digital has contro l of the firmware , customer s can define the numbe r of temperatur e limits , their associated temperatures , the brightnes s reductio n require d at each level and the clearing temperatures . The defaul t firmware provide s three ove r-temperatur e limits wit h brightness reductio n values of 80%, 60% and off, respectivel y. BRIGHTNESS CONTROL

ple LED failures will not render the monitor inoperable, and in most cases will still provide a very unifo rm backlight. This non-catastrophic failure condition is essential for mission critical applications. It should also be noted that our LED Controller can support up to 10 amps of output current. This is far greater than typical current regulated LED module drivers, which only support 1 amp per module. Prior to the advent of our LED controlle r, our typical sunlight/NVIS backlight for 19" display required six LED modules to drive our LED rails. Substituting our LED Controller saved considerable expense, mechanical space and weight. Furthe rmore, our controller eliminated the need for technician time to calibrate each of the individual modules, providing further cost savings. PROGRAMMABILITY The performance of the LED controller is programmable at the facto ry to meet the specific requirements of each application. The following parameters are programmable:


A unique feature of the General Digitals LED Backlight Controller PCB is an inte rface to support a pair of brightness sensors (I2C). Feedback from the optical sensor allows the controller to maintain a constant backlight brightness even when the ambient temperatures This greatly improves functionality its temperature. CONVENTIONAL DESIGNS vary drasticall y. since the current

draw and brightness of the LED is directly influenced by

Most commercial LED rails for LCD displays are designed to be driven serially (Fig. 1). The prima ry advantage of this design approach is that the associated controller requires only a very low output current. Typicall y, the controllers occupy a small footprint since the low output override requires only small traces. Howeve r, the glaring disadvantage of a serial driven LED rail, and associated controlle r, is that there is no soft failure mechanism in the event of an individual LED failure. A failure of a single LED will render the entire rail inoperable. very high output constitutes integration. OUR DESIGN General Digitals LED backlight designs are designed to provide a very low cost of ownership by ensuring extended operational life of the LEDs. Our LED rails use a serialparallel design philosoph y, whereby we drive groupings of multiple LEDs. Howeve r, what differentiates our design approach from other s is that each of the LED groupings is driven in a parallel manner (Fig. 2). The prima ry benefi t is that a single LED failure will only affect its immediate grouping (soft failure), but will not affect any of the other groupings of LEDs. The benefi t is that singular or multi

Maximum / Minimum Brightness of Sunlight Readable LED Rails Maximum / Minimum Brightness of NVIS LED Rails Cu rrent Limiting of Sunlight Readable & NVIS LED Rails Monitor Maximum Output of Sunlight Readable Rails to Prevent The rmal Runaway Under Extreme The rmal Environments Ensures Long Life of LEDs

The other which its

disad- vantage is that the LED controller will produce a voltage (100 Vdc typical), a haz- ardous voltage and complicates

Define Brightness of Sunlight Readable and NVIS Modes When Switching Modes Brightness Algorithm Choices Default Brightness (value defined by user) Last Brightness (recalls last setting) Based on Potentiometer Position C ustom Define Over Temperature Brightness Reduction Parameters (can be disabled) Number of Over Temperature Limits (set points) Corresponding Temperature Value for Each Limit (set point) Target Backlight Brightness (e.g., 80%) for Each Temperature Limit

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Support for Brightness Sensors (Up to Two) Consistent and Predictable Luminance Sensors provide real-time brightness feedback from the L ED backlights to the microprocessor so that the brightness can automatically be corrected for changes due to ambient temperature fluctuations, increased current draw of the LED s,decay of the LED, etc. Ensures consistent performance from one monitor to another despite inherent component tolerances. Maximizes Backlight Life, Power and Energy Savings Allows for automatic brightness/dimming control of L ED backlights based on ambient lighting conditions. Use only as much brightness as the working environment demands. A proximity sensor determines if the optical sensor is obstructed, thereby preventing false readings or unintended brightness adjustments. Custom Brightness Profiles Custom control profiles (firmware) can be created by General Digital for the L ED Controller to meet specific customer requirements. Support for Multiple Temperature - Embedded on LED Rail Sensors Prevent Critical Hardware Failures Provides real-time temperature feedback from the LE D rails. This data is used by the over-temperature brightness/power control algorithm to automatically reduce backlight power consumption (brightness) in response to excessive temperatures, which reduces heat generation and prevents critical failure of the LCD or associated electronics. Monitor other critical temperature hot spots within the integrated solution/ monitor. Inherently, LED sw ill draw more current as they heat up. After a certain temperature threshold is exceeded, the LED spower efficiency and brightness w ill degrade; furthermore, as the LED slose brightness, they will continue to draw more current and dissipate more heat. Prevention of Thermal Runaway The LE D controller monitors the current to each LE D rail and automatically reduces the current if it exceeds a predetermined value that is stored as a constant in the controllers memory/firmware. Power Efficiency Proactive control of the backlight current prevents the backlights from demanding more power after they have exceeded their optimal luminance threshold. LCD Failure Protection By directly limiting the power consumption of the backlight and indirectly reducing the heat generated, the LE D controller prevents over-temperature conditions from developing. If allowed to go unchecked, what could occur is temporary or permanent failure of the liquid crystal material and/or the LCDs optical films and diffusers. Controlled Brightness Under Extreme Temperature This feature is especially important for applications that have high ambient temperature requirements or that will be mounted in sealed enclosures without active cooling provided. - One (1) LED Rail Sunlight Readable (SR) and Night Vision Imaging System (NVIS)



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- One (1) Ambient Light with Proximity Sensor

- Other

Current Limiting for LED Rails (SR and NVIS)



Hardware Protection

Critical Failure Detection In the event that the microprocessor or either of the digital potentiometers fails, the backlights w ill be intentionally shut off. This will prevent the LEDs from entering a runaway thermal condition that could lead to permanent damage of the LCD and its infrastructure.


Programability - Automatic Ove r-Temperature Soft Failure Algorithm Critical Failure Protection In response to over-temperature conditions reported within the monitor from an integrated temperature sensor, the controller can be programmed to automatically reduce brightness and power consumption of the LE D backlights, thereby reducing internally generated heat. Default code will reduce brightness to 80% at the first over-temperature failure, 60% for the second failure, and w ill shut off the backights if the third temperature limit is exceeded. Backlights w ill be turned on and brightness increased as internal temperature decreases below each established temperature limit. Custom firmware can be developed to establish a specific number of temperature limits and the percentage of brightness for each limit. Consistent and Predictable Luminance The firmware can be configured to ensure that the minimum brightness does not go below a specific luminance, and the maximum brightness does not exceed a specific luminance. The results are more accurate when using the optional brightness sensors. Consistent and Predictable Luminance The firmware can be configured to ensure that the minimum brightness does not go below a specific luminance, and the maximum brightness does not exceed a specific luminance. The results are more accurate when using the optional brightness sensors. Maximizes Backlight Life/Critical Failure Protection Prevents thermal runaway under extreme thermal environment variations and increases LE D longevity. Consistent and Predictable Luminance The brightness can be programmed to be a default brightness (defined by customer), or last brightness (recalls last setting made), based on potentiometer position, or a custom setting. Soft Failure Design General Digitals LED backlight rails utilize a serial-parallel design philosophy that provides applications with a hardware soft failure mechanism, which minimizes the risk of a critical failure due to the failure of a single, or multiple, LEDs.

- Minimum/Maximum Sunlight Readable Brightness

- Minimum/Maximum NVIS Brightness

- Current Limits

- Define Brightness of Sunlight Readable and NVIS Modes when Switching Between Modes

Supports General Digitals Serial- Parallel LED Backlight Designs

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ORDERING/OPTIONS P/N 21-101...Support for Sunlight Readable and NVIS P/N 21-127...Support for Sunlight Readable Only PHYSI CAL CHAR ACTERISTICS Weight: 74.2 grams Size: PCB Thickness: Input Connector: Sunlight Rail Connectors: NVIS Rail Connectors: Brightness Input: LED Status Connector: Push Button Input: Mode Connector: The rmistor Input: Brightness Sensor Input: 4.000" x 3.000" x 0.625" 0.062" J1 J2, J3 J6, J7 J4 J5 J9 J8 J10, J13 J11, J12
Figure 5 Figure 4


PWB Layout

Figure 3

Figure 6

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MAXIMUM RATINGS* Symbol Vin Vsig Imax Pmax Top Tst Param eter Supply Voltage Voltage to A ll Input Pins Input Current Output power Operating Temperature Storage Temperature Value 1.00 to 20.00 -0.7 to 5.25 10 138 -40 to +75 -60 to +150 Unit Vdc Vdc Adc Watts C C J5: Video Status I/O Pass Through Mating Connector: JST XHP-6 Pin 1 2 3 4 5 6 Signal Video OK Input Ground Video Standby Input Video OK Input Ground Video Standby Input


*Maximum ratings denote the values beyond which damage will occur. RECOMMENDED OPERATING VALUES

J6 and J7: NVIS LED Rail Output Mating Connector: Tyco Electronics 640250-2 Pin 1 2 Signal + Vout Ground

J8: NVIS Control Input Mating Connector: JST XHP-2 CONNEC TORS J1: Voltage Input Mating Connector: Tyco Electronics 794617-8 Pin 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Signal +12 to 15Vdc +12 to 15Vdc +12 to 15Vdc +12 to 15Vdc Ground Ground Ground Ground J10, J13: Thermistor Input Mating Connector: Molex 51021-0200 J2 and J3: Sunlight LED Rail Output Mating Connector: Tyco Electronics 640250-3 Pin 1 2 3 Signal + Vout NC Ground J11, J12: Brightness Sensor Input Use General Digital 21-147 J4: Analog Dimming Input Mating Connector: JST XHP-4 Pin 1 2 3 4 Symbol Vin Lhigh Llow Din Signal + 5Vdc Output for Potentiometer Dimming Control Voltage Input Ground Ground Param eter Typical Value Unit Pin 1 2 3 4 5 6 Signal 3.3 Vdc Ground A0 A1 SCL SDA Thermistor: U.S. Sensor PS10352 Pin 1 2 Signal Thermistor In Ground J9: Push Button Dimming Input Mating Connector: JST XHP-3 Pin 1 2 3 Operation Brightness Up Push Button Brightness Down Push Button Ground Pin 1 2 Signal Signal Input High=NVIS Mode Ground

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G e n e lr a i g i t lC o r p o r an i o 8 N u t mgeR o a S o uht S o uht W i n d s ,oCT 0 6 0 7 D a t d r 4 To l l - F er eP h o n: e Supply Voltage 8 0 0 . 9 5 2 . 2 5 3 5 to 15.3 12.0 Vdc Logic Input High o c :a ( 8 6 0 2 8 2 - 2 9005.00 a :x ( 8 6 0 2 8 2 - 2 244 E - m a:il d _ d s @ G e n e r a l D igm l .c o e S ite Vdc L l ) 1.27 to F ) g ita W b : w w w . G e n e 0 atoD 0.70t a l . c o m Vdc r l ig i Logic Input Low
Dimming Potentiometer 0 to 5.00 Vdc

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