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ADB High Beam and Mini LED Tail Light Drive Personalization, Communications, Driver Assistance and Safety Upgrades

According to the 2022 Global Automotive LED Product Trend and Regional Market Analysis released by TrendForce, though global automobile sales took a hit from the Russia-Ukraine war and COVID in China, the increasing penetration of LED headlight and the development of smart headlight, logo lamp and smart ambient light among other advanced technologies still bolstered the automotive lighting market in 2022. At the same time, as the costs of plastics surges, prices of automotive lighting products are holding or even rising. TrendForce expects the global automotive lighting market will grow 4% to US$ 32.68 billion in 2022 as automotive lighting pursues personalization, communication, driver assistance and safety upgrade.



Adaptive Driving Beam (ADB) headlights provide drivers, vehicles in front, oncoming traffic and pedestrians with better road illumination.

Traditional automakers and EV manufacturers are pushing LED headlight penetration as they hold or boost market share with product differentiation. TrendForce estimates the global penetration of LED headlights in passenger vehicles will hit 72% in 2022, and as high as 92% for EVs.

Technically speaking, there are many types of ADB highlight technology. Matrix LED comprised of 12~100 LEDs is the most popular design now. TrendForce survey indicated matrix LED consists of 100 LEDs is expected to gradually replace matrix LED with 85 LEDs. By controlling individual high-performance LED, the design improves driver visibility at night, effectively reducing driver reaction time to obstacles ahead and enhancing road illumination. Furthermore, glare-free high beam prevents blinding drivers in front and oncoming vehicles and pedestrians.  

ADB penetration was only 3.7% in 2022. However, more nations are enacting ADB-friendly rules and regulations. ADB introduces micro LED pixel array with 10,000~30,000 pixels that can be precisely and individually controlled for flexible illumination areas, which help driving safety and meet regulatory requirements of different markets. Now headlight manufacturers can reduce development, production and logistics costs for various markets. The penetration is expected to hit 13.9% in 2026, driving the overall automotive lighting market to US$ 39.496 billion as a result.    


ADB headlight application scenarios and driver solutions

Figure 2 and Figure 3 show the projection of pixel light source from an ADB headlight. It works by first detecting the object with automotive sensors and then projecting the right beam pattern as AI makes the decision and controls the high-pixel light matrix.

For example, Figure 2 shows an ADB headlight reduces the brightness of light projected toward the oncoming driver’s field of view.

Figure 3 shows increasing brightness for objects of interest such as traffic signs; and reducing brightness for vehicle in front to prevent affecting the vehicle’s driver.

Ideal for ADB headlight applications, Macroblock MBI6353Q is a 4-scan driver IC with 48 channels and time-multiplexing technology to control up to 192 LEDs. 100mA driving current and 24V voltage maximize application design flexibility as it can drive multiple LEDs in cascade to boost brightness or connect multiple channels to bolster drive current. As a single product meets the requirements of multiple pixels, high

current and high brightness, clients see reduced inventory pressure. 

Figure 4 shows MBI6353Q in circuit based on the time-multiplexing architecture. More driver ICs can be added to the application circuit to control additional LEDs.

Figure 5 shows MBI6353Q connecting multi channels in parallel to increase LED driving current and enhance the brightness.

The highly-dense arrangement of LEDs in ADB headlight makes it difficult to design the overall driver section. It really needs highly-integrated driver ICs to shrink the driver board and combine the LED light board into only one board. Comparing the discrete driver board and LED light board, it can reduce bus and size which facilitates stylish lighting designs. MBI6353Q is a highly-integrated driver IC that meets AEC-Q100 Grade 1 requirements. Based on the circuit described, it enables flexible adjustment and has the potential for this type of applications.  


Information communication drives advanced driver assistance system (ADAS), autonomous vehicle and car sharing trend for a new era combining mobility and communication.

Tail light designs are evolving too. It’s evident that automakers and consumers now prefer full-width tail light, dynamic information display and 3D design. As there are no regulations on tail light shape and design, automakers strive to enhance vehicle specifications and features with tail light. Some use monochromatic/color mini LED package for communication display. For example, Samsung LED products use as many as 49,152 LEDs. The complete products boast high brightness, high contrast, high resolution, long lifespan and slim design. Tail light based on the products not only creates personalized design with smooth dynamic pictures but also communicates warning messages and traffic information for safe driving. The slim modular design maximizes automobile lightning design space and flexibility, upending what people thought of traditional automobile lighting.


Tail light to display dynamic information for personalized designs

The main functions of tail light combinations are to show the width and location of the vehicle to remind fellow road users and prevent accidents in places with little or no light in addition to the mandatory turn indication. As a vehicle slows down or stops suddenly, independent or integrated tail light and third brake light will increase the brightness to warn following vehicles and prevent rear-ending. 

Vehicles are introducing LED tail lights as LED lights make the vehicles look high-tech with sophisticated design. Automakers combine tail light and central brake light into a strip- or band-shaped full-width tail light. Premium designs can even control each pixel individually to create a dynamic welcome light, which helps the driver to find their vehicle in unfamiliar parking locations and highlight the design of vehicle

and taste of the driver.

Figure 7 shows a simplified block diagram for dynamic tail light that can easily perform different dynamic functions. 

Figure 8 shows a popular full-width tail light. The central area connects the red tail lights to the left and right to create a strip lighting effect that changes dynamically or changes brightness progressively.

The band full-width tail light can perform as a welcome light in blocks.

In addition to the ADB headlight and tail light evolutions we just discussed, automakers, automotive lighting companies and LED and driver IC manufacturers are developing logo lamp, (smart) ambient light and light-signal projection. As automakers continue to introduce amazing innovations and thinking in automotive lighting and promote ADS/autonomous vehicles, the future of automotive lighting is incredibly bright!

By LEDinside