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Maxim’s LED Matrix Manager Empowers High-Density Automotive Matrix and Pixel Lighting

Vlad Poptamas

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As automotive designers expand the use of LED and matrix lighting, the MAX20092 from Maxim Integrated Products helps them with issues related to power density, thermal intensity and space constraints.
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

MAX20092 offers industry’s lowest on-resistance internal switches and reduces thermal issues, complexity and design costs

 

Designers of high-performance automotive matrix lighting and adaptive driving beam light-emitting diode (LED) applications can now migrate to higher current devices while reducing solution size and improving flexibility with the MAX20092 12-switch matrix manager from Maxim Integrated Products, Inc. (NASDAQ: MXIM). The IC minimizes thermal issues associated with LED matrix lighting applications by offering the industry’s lowest internal switch resistance (RDS_ON), which is 65 percent lower than the closest competitive solution.

Safety and brand differentiation are two of the leading factors driving greater adoption of LEDs in automotive front-lighting platforms, which are growing at 30 percent per year, according to Strategy Analytics, Inc. As part of their distinctive brand identities, OEMs are designing in advanced safety features such as glare-free high beams along with LED and matrix lighting. However, LED lighting designers are challenged with increasing power, thermal and design complexities.

The MAX20092 provides flexible current management for matrix and pixel lighting. Twelve integrated switches control LEDs in string voltages up to 56V, saving design time and reducing complexity. Its integrated MOSFET on resistance (RDS_ON) of 70 mohm is the lowest in the industry – comfortably driving LED currents up to 1.5A. Maxim’s 12-switch LED matrix manager is offered in a small 5mm x 5mm TQFN package. Additionally, Maxim today introduced MAX20096 and MAX20097 dual-channel, synchronous buck high-brightness LED controllers to work with the MAX20092, helping designers improve transient response times in LED lighting. The MAX20096 and MAX20097 deliver ultra-fast transient response with near-fixed frequency with Maxim’s proprietary average current mode control scheme, minimizing EMI and enabling a reliable, high-performing design.

Key Advantages of MAX20092

  • Integration: Reduces bill of materials (BOM) costs while saving space. Manages one to two LEDs per switch with 12-bit pulse-width modulation (PWM) dimming. Provides built-in logarithmic fade-in/fade-out capability that simplifies LED programmability and reduces taxation on system bus lines.
  • High Performance and Safety: Low RDS_ON of 70 mohm safely enables LED current of up to 1.5A. Features advanced fault protection and management for open, short and open-trace LED detection.
  • Flexibility: Can parallel up to 27 MAX20092 devices without daisy-chaining to manage large LED pixel count of up to 324 LEDs; allows designers to configure 1 string x 12 series switches, 2 strings x 6 series switches, and 4 strings x 3 series switches from each IC.
  • Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) Mitigation: Slew-rate control reduces EMI and noise

Commentary

  • “Although matrix LED headlights enhance safety, they were once exclusively for the premium auto sector, due to their complexity and high cost,” said Kevin Mak, senior analyst for the Automotive Practice of Strategy Analytics. “Technology developments that enhance LED efficiency and performance will drive their greater adoption into automotive platforms. Maxim’s MAX20092 is one of the solutions that aligns with greater adoption trends for LED lighting in automotive applications.”
  • “Maxim designed the MAX20092 to help developers who want to utilize more LEDs in their designs and reduce the BOM cost and solution space,” said Yin Wu, business manager for the Automotive Business Unit at Maxim Integrated. “The safety and OEM branding value that LEDs present are compelling, and we enable their adoption in greater numbers through higher flexibility and reliability.”

Availability and Pricing

  • The MAX20092 is available at Maxim’s website for $2.93 (1000-up, FOB USA)
  • The MAX20092EVSYS# evaluation kit includes a graphical user interface, matrix manager board and an LED adapter board featuring Osram Opto Semiconductors’ Oslon Compact PL, KW CELNM1.TG, LED components, which are suitable for adaptive matrix-style headlights

 

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Automotive

Best New Automotive Innovations for 2019 Announced by Automobile Journalists Association of Canada

Vlad Poptamas

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Photo source: guideautoweb.com
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

The Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) announced today the winners of its 2019 Innovation Awards at the Canadian International AutoShow in Toronto. The winners are:

Best Green Innovation – Infiniti, for the VC-Turbo engine.

Best Safety Innovation – Subaru, for DriverFocus.

Best Technical Innovation – Mercedes-Benz, for Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX).

“The Innovation Awards now recognize safety, environmental awareness and technology,” said Mark Richardson, President, Automobile Journalists Association of Canada. “This is an opportunity to recognize the very best and most innovative examples of new automotive products available to Canadian drivers.”

In 2018, AJAC members nominated 30 different automotive innovations for consideration. The awards were judged by a panel of nine journalists who specialize in automotive technology. They independently reviewed briefs on all nominated entries, and from that initial review the jurors established a short list of finalists in each category.  In late October, they convened for a day of presentations and questioning with manufacturer representatives on each of the short-listed entries.  The jurors then voted a second time by secret ballot.

As with the Canadian Car of the Year awards program, these votes were compiled and authenticated by accounting firm KPMG.

Infiniti’s VC-Turbo engine is the world’s first production-ready variable compression ratio engine and one of the most advanced internal combustion engines ever created. More than 20 years in development, it represents a major breakthrough in internal-combustion powertrain technology. It delivers the power of a high-performance 2.0-liter turbo gasoline engine with a high level of efficiency.

Subaru’s DriverFocus utilizes a camera angled at the driver’s face and facial recognition software to monitor fatigue or lack of attention. When the driver begins to lose focus, DriverFocus immediately sends out a helpful alert — it’s like an automated co-driver.

Mercedes-Benz’s MBUX uses artificial intelligence to adapt to suit the user, creating an emotional connection between the vehicle, driver and passengers. It includes the high-resolution widescreen cockpit with touchscreen operation, navigation display with augmented reality technology, plus intelligent voice control with natural speech recognition, which is activated with the keyword “Hey Mercedes.”

Photography is available at http://www.ajac.ca/press-room.asp

 

SOURCE Automobile Journalists Association of Canada

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Automotive

Karma Automotive Bolsters Growing Leadership Ranks

Vlad Poptamas

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Lewis Liu
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

– NEW VP, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT & STRATEGY HELPS DRIVE BRAND TOWARD PROFITABLE LUXURY, HIGH-TECH FUTURE

– KEY ASSIGNMENTS: DRIVE REVENUE, INCREASE MARKET SHARE, MAXIMIZE PROFITABILITY

Lewis Liu, an accomplished automotive strategist with deep consulting experience for several major international and Chinese brands, has joined Southern California-based Karma Automotive as Vice President, Business Development and Strategy to help lead long-term, forward-thinking business strategies, focused on luxury, high technology, customization and VVIP customer treatment.

“Lewis has the kind of expertise in corporate financial investments, strategy development and implementation, international operational management, and market-entry strategies we need to help grow Karma’s unique luxury electric vehicle nice,” said Karma CEO Dr. Lance Zhou. “Karma attracts top talent because we have a very clear vision of what’s required to achieve our goals and execute a solid product plan that spans the next decade. Our future is strong.”

Liu comes to Karma from Faraday Future where he served as Senior Director of Strategic Partnership & Business Development since 2016. Prior to his time at Faraday, Liu was a Managing Director of KPMG Advisory (China), leading the management consulting practice for the automotive industry. Prior to joining KPMG, Liu was Senior Vice President at Ascension Capital, a private equity firm specializing in mergers and acquisitions for the auto industry. Lewis was also the General Manager and Plant Manager at Philips Lighting Electronics where he managed a business unit in the Asia Pacific region for Philips.

“Karma’s Value-Forward business plan which in part encourages collaboration with the right business partners to help accelerate technology and product development really attracted me to the company,” said Liu. “I’m excited to help create long-term value for a brand that’s defined by exclusive design and craftsmanship, intuitive and integrated high technology, personalized customization that allows every Karma vehicle to be special, and an owner experience with unrivaled treatment.”

Liu, who reports directly to Mikael Elley, Karma’s Co-Chief of Staff, will craft strategies to meet future luxury EV customer demands, leverage technology developments, and remain in front of competitor plans and industry trends to help ensure Karma is well positioned for success. He is expected to play a key role in driving revenue and maximizing profitability.

Liu earned his MBA from the University of Chicago and his master’s degree in Artificial Intelligence from the University of Mississippi. He also earned a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Beijing Polytechnic University.

Meet Karma Automotive and Karma Revero
Karma Automotive designs, engineers, assembles and markets luxury electric vehicles, all from its Southern Californiabase of operations. Founded in 2014 and employing nearly 1,000 people worldwide, Karma Automotive is committed to elevating and growing the luxury mobility experience for its customers and draws on global relationships and technology partners to achieve this. Named Green Car Journal’s 2018 Luxury Green Car of the Year, Karma Revero is a luxury electric vehicle powered by dual electric motors that embodies the company’s goals of offering leading automotive design, technology, customization and an outstanding customer experience.

SOURCE Vibes

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Automotive

AUTOTECH 2018 – 100 M&A DEALS AND RECORD VENTURE CAPITAL INVESTMENT LAY THE FOUNDATIONS FOR AUTOMOTIVE FUTURE

Vlad Poptamas

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Photo source: automobile.vinamr.com.vn
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

  • Disclosed VC funding to automotive start-ups hits $8 billion
  • Electrification, connectivity, autonomy and mobility are driving investments and deals in a race for market leadership

 

London, UK – 20 February 2019. The latest Automotive Technology M&A Market Report from international technology mergers and acquisitions advisor, Hampleton Partners, reveals that disclosed Venture Capital funding to automotive start-ups totalled $8 billion in 2018.

In parallel, almost 100 M&A deals were inked, including Renault, Ford and Volkswagen’s autotech acquisitions in the second half of 2018; however, total disclosed M&A transaction value reached $3.9 billion in the time period, the lowest in over five years.

The report also shows the growing role of Private Equity (PE) in the autotech M&A market, accounting for almost one quarter of all transactions in 2018. The largest PE acquisition was Gores Group’s buyout of Verra Mobility for $1.3 billion, at an attractive 17x EV/EBITDA multiple.

Jo Goodson, managing director, Hampleton Partners, said:

“Although we are currently seeing more venture capital investment than M&A transaction value in autotech, all players in the sector continue to push to be the market leader within the new world of electrification, connectivity, autonomy and mobility. Start-ups with innovative ideas are pursuing funding, and global giants from all sectors, including financial, are continuing to invest, fund and acquire.”

 

Key trends in autotech

  • Connected car technology is widely hailed as the precursor for autonomous vehicles, providing passengers with features like internet, next-generation infotainment and enhanced safety features.

 

Examples of deals in this sub-sector included Volkswagen’s purchase of WirelessCar for almost three times its revenue; Aptiv’s acquisition of Chinese advanced interconnect specialist KUM in a landmark $500 million deal; and Zurich Insurance’s acquisition of Bright Box in a move to bring the insurer into the vehicle and closer to the data it generates.

  • Vehicle manufacturers are diversifying from pure passenger car production to protect themselves against an uncertain future where personal vehicle ownership is no longer the norm.

 

Early in 2018 Daimler led a $175 million equity round in Taxify, Estonia’s response to Uber. BMW took over Parkmobile to become the largest provider of mobile parking in the United States and in November Ford bought Spin, an electric scooter sharing platform, in an effort to expand its micro-mobility offering.

  • Internet commerce and content is growing in importance, with prospective vehicle owners now spending around 60 per cent of their time searching online.1

 

KAR Auction Services, which signed five deals over the past 30 months, purchased B2B car auction website, CarsOnTheWeb, for just over $100 million. Meanwhile, in November 2018 Renault bought Carizy, a used vehicle marketplace. Renault hopes to capitalise on the fast-growing used vehicle industry between private individuals, opening another lucrative revenue stream for the French automaker.

  • The digital transformation of dealerships: in a two-way street of deal-making, dealerships are incorporating enterprise software and CRM solutions to build better informed relationships with their prospective and current customers and ease the marketing and sale of vehicles, whilst online vehicle marketplaces are getting closer to the dealers.

 

Two US-listed online vehicle marketplaces made acquisitions in 2018: Cars.com made a $165 million acquisition of DealerInspire, a provider of automotive advertising SaaS and service. TrueCar’s picked-up DealerScience, a dealership retail software provider, for $27 million.

 

Automotive technology M&A in 2019

Jo Goodson concluded:

“We believe 2019 and 2020 will remain very strong for both acquisitions and funding in the autotech sector, despite the storm clouds on the horizon which may provoke a reduction in vehicle sales’ volume overall.

“Our rationale is that spending in the sector will not be impacted by short-term market turbulence. Autotech is a truly transformational sector and we’re only at the beginning of a very long journey. In summary, we foresee a strong autotech M&A market over the next 24 months, with stable Enterprise Value multiples and a sharply growing capital raise market with increasing valuations.”

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