Nichia and Infineon Technologies are developing a High Definition (HD) light source with over 16,000 micro LEDs for use in front lighting. Unlike current HD systems, the new device provides high-resolution light for the entire field of vision of the driver.
"The resolution of our new LED matrix light will be about 180 times higher than the comparable solutions we see on the road today," says Kanji Bando, head of Nichia's Advanced R&D Center. "We are thus paving the way for new and improved safety functions and significantly improving driving comfort. HD light can, for example, warn the driver of dangers by illuminating people or objects on the roadside. It can project markings onto the road - for example, to make it easier for the driver to drive through a construction site. Proven features such as cornering or glare-free high beam work more precisely and quietly.
The new HD light source will be equipped with micro LEDs based on Nichia technology and a new driver IC from Infineon. "Our chip will provide individual control and diagnostics for each of the 16,000 micro LEDs," says Andreas Doll, Vice President and General Manager of the Body Power business unit in Infineon's Automotive Division. "In addition to the safety benefits, our new solution will also be significantly more energy efficient, as we only need to switch on the LEDs that are actually needed for a light pattern. Current micro-mirror systems, on the other hand, switch on all LEDs and deflect excess light.
In addition, the new HD light can simplify complex design and production processes at the vehicle manufacturer's and at the same time increase user-friendliness for the driver. For example, there are different lighting requirements for left-hand and right-hand drivers. With the new HD light source, the necessary adjustments could be made digitally in the factory or easily activated by the driver as an on-demand function.
Production of the new HD light source is scheduled to start in 2023 as part of Nichia's automotive LED and laser portfolio.