Texas Instruments introduces AC drive technology for LED lighting

Texas Instruments, a DC-based LED driver integrated circuit technology company, recently introduced integrated circuit technology, which makes the design of AC-driven solid-state lighting products easier. Texas Instruments has expanded its business to include LED drivers and introduced the TPS92411 MOSFET converter to simplify the design of AC-based lighting engines.

The advantage of AC drives is that they are much easier to supply than AC-DC switched power supplies used in traditional LED drivers. John Perry, product promotion engineer at Texas Instruments, said the new integrated circuit driver's bill of materials will be 20-50% cheaper than DC-based drives, and the board will be simpler. Inductive components are not required for filtering.

The Texas company's approach is the same as that used by many companies in the industry. The voltage on the AC input line rises every half cycle, subdividing the LED stacks, allowing more LEDs to be powered. This line is the first full-wave rectification line, meaning that the LEDs are converted at 120Hz.

Texas Instruments' approach is small but significant. As the AC line input rises, the supply voltage is output from a higher tap in the stack, so more LEDs will be illuminated. However, Texas Instruments uses active switches to electrically isolate each part of the LEDs in the stack. The TPS92411 is essentially a switch that floats relative to the ground. According to the nearby diagram, the multiple switches used in the design use relatively simple discrete components.

The advantage of this method is that a small capacitor is placed to store energy across each LED subdivision unit. Even if the AC line voltage is too low to power the entire LED stack, the capacitor can take over the role of voltage and keep the LEDs lit, thereby increasing LED utilization.

Perry of Texas Instruments said the design would reduce flicker. And close to the pure resistive load, so the inherent high power factor is above 0.95. The overall harmonic distortion is less than 15%.

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