Santa Clara, Calif—it's one thing to work out the "best" LED driver IC and associated electronic circuitry for your application, but the real challenge is also answering the end-to-end problem: which specific LED(s) will give me the illumination I need, and which heat sink, if any, do I need?
Webench LED Architect from National Semiconductor Corp., which extends National's Webench designer tool family, addresses this gap directly and strives to provide specific solutions while letting designers dynamically work the tradeoffs and constraints. Designers can start by specifying how much illumination (light output) they need (up to 100,000 lumens), and then juggle and adjust key variables for efficiency, footprint/size, cost, and other parameters. It finishes the job by providing a full design report, with schematics, bill of materials (BOM), and performance graphs. The BOM includes make/model part numbers from LED vendors as well as heat sink details (if needed); National says the non-National parts roster is updated in near real time so it doesn’t become stale or obsolete.
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At present, the LED list encompasses 350 devices from 12 leading suppliers, and over 21,000 passive components. Webench LED Architect includes provision for single and multi-LED design which, as most designers know, is one of the more challenging alternatives to consider and evaluate, especially in higher-output situations. It also provides full electrical simulation results, as an option.—Bill Schweber
Price and availability: Webench LED Architect is available now and is free, period, end of story.
For more information: to try the product, go to http://www.national.com/LEDarchitect. You can also see a video demonstration at http://bit.ly/LEDvideo.