LED Driver Solutions for Light-Based Positioning Technology & Visible Light Communication

The NCL31000 and NCL31001 allow OEMs to easily develop smart LED luminaires with visible light communication (VLC) and indoor positioning systems

ON Semiconductor has announced two new devices designed to enhance the performance of connected lighting systems. The NCL31000 and NCL31001 LED drivers allow manufacturers to develop LED luminaires with light-based positioning technology and visible light communication. By adding data intelligence and accurate positioning (up to 30 cm), these solutions will revolutionize lighting in a variety of spaces including supermarkets, warehouses, hospitals, and airports.

The NCL31000 from ON Semiconductor is part of an extensive LED driver family and is designed specifically for luminaire applications. At the heart of the device is a highly energy efficient buck LED driver that supports both high-bandwidth analog dimming and PWM dimming down to zero current. The driver includes an integrated 3V3 fixed DC-DC converter and a further adjustable DC-DC (2.5 – 24V), which can be used to power system components such as sensing devices and the microcontroller. Integrating these power solutions in the driver dramatically simplifies system design while boosting efficiency.

The accurate linear dimming enables visible light communication (VLC), allowing for the development of indoor light-based positioning systems that can be safely implemented in many locations where RF-based solutions cannot be used (e.g., hazardous spaces such as mines, or RF sensitive areas such as in hospitals or on board aircrafts). The ability to dim to true dark with an accuracy of 0.1% ensures that there is no ghost light at the lowest dim settings. Highly accurate diagnostics further reduce system complexity by integrating a 10-bit analog to digital converter (ADC). The ADC measures system voltages, currents and temperature to monitor LED and overall system efficiency, and detect any anomalies. A serial (I2C / SPI) interface makes all diagnostic data available to an external MCU that can monitor and control the intelligent lighting system. The architecture of the NCL31000 ensures excellent EMI performance – in tests it has been shown to be >14 dB below the requirements of CISPR15 / EN55015.

ON Semiconductor is also announcing the availability of the NCL31001 as a companion driver to the NCL31000. The addition of the NCL31001 creates a solution that supports multi-string lighting applications, including those with color control. The NCL31001 offers the same features as the NCL31000 except for the DC-DC converters to avoid unnecessary duplication.

Commenting on the new releases, Michel De Mey, Vice President, Industrial Solutions at ON Semiconductor said, “There is a growing demand for lighting intelligence as LED luminaire manufacturers recognize how these features improve convenience for users while reducing operating expenses and energy consumption. By supporting these features alongside market-leading efficiency and functionality, the NCL31000 and NCL31001 will open a variety of new opportunities for smart lighting systems.”

The new LED drivers are part of a comprehensive portfolio of Connected Lighting solutions from ON Semiconductor including the Connected Lighting Platform, which features multiple connectivity options (Bluetooth® Low Energy and Power over Ethernet (PoE)) for smart LED control.

Learn more about the NCL31000 and NCL31001 LED drivers and other Connected Lighting solutions from ON Semiconductor.