San Jose, Calif. - Micrel has entered the electroluminescent lamp driver IC market with two chips that convert a 1.8- to 5.5-volt input voltage to a high-voltage ac signal capable of driving an EL lamp in a cell phone, PDA, remote controller or other device.
The MIC4826 generates a 160-V and the MIC4827 a 180-V peak-to-peak ac output voltage. The MIC4827 is intended for applications that require maximum EL brightness.
The chips' wide input-voltage range enables them to operate directly from two-cell alkaline, nickel cadmium and nickel metal hydride batteries, or one-cell lithium ion batteries. Solutions with a narrower input-voltage range typically require more-complex, split-supply approaches.
The boost converter oscillator frequency and the EL lamp frequency are independently adjustable via external resistors, so designers can tune efficiency vs. brightness for a given EL lamp size. According to Micrel, many competing solutions offer only a fixed ratio of boost frequency vs. EL lamp frequency.
The Micrel parts come in an MSOP-8 package and require six external passive components.
In 1,000-piece quantities, the MIC4826 is priced at $1.18 and the MIC4827 at $1.28. Samples are available from stock and production quantities are stock to 12 weeks ARO.
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EETInfo No. 610