Automotive lighting as an important safety and popular design feature in vehicles has evolved rapidly in the past years. Now, Nichia Corporation and Infineon Technologies start a collaboration to add further momentum to this evolution. Together, they are developing a high-definition (HD) light engine with more than 16,000 micro-LEDs for front light applications.
Unlike current HD solutions, the new device will provide high resolution light to the entire field of view of the driver.
“Our new LED matrix light will offer a resolution about 180 times as high as that of comparable solutions on the road today,” said Kanji Bando, Head of the Advanced R&D Centre at Nichia. “This will pave the way for new and improved safety features and enhance driving comfort.”
For example, HD light can be used to warn the driver of hazards by highlighting people or objects on the roadside. It can project markings on the road – for example, in order to help the driver navigate through a construction site. And established features such as the glare-free high beam or bending lights run more precisely and smoothly.
The new HD light engine will employ micro-LED technology from Nichia and a new driver IC from Infineon.
“Our chip will control and diagnose all 16,000 micro-LEDs individually,” said Andreas Doll, Vice President and General Manager of the Body Power Business Unit of Infineon’s Automotive Division. “In addition to the safety benefits, our new solution will also significantly increase energy efficiency because it allows us to turn on only those LEDs actually needed for a light pattern.” Current micro-mirrors solutions turn on all LEDs and deflect surplus light.
The new HD light can also contribute to reducing design and production complexity for car manufacturers. At the same time it increases the driver’s ease-of-use. Left-hand and right-hand drive configurations have different lighting requirements, for example. With the new HD light engine, the necessary adaptions could be programmed digitally in the factory or activated by the driver as a function on demand.
The production launch of the new HD light engine is planned for 2023 as part of Nichia’s automotive LED and laser portfolio.