Why do LED drivers need to innovate?
LED technology revolutionizes the efficiency, form, life and control capabilities of the lighting market and continues to offer new solutions. LED drivers have undergone some improvements and optimizations over the past decade, but the underlying problem remains: power conversion technology has remained largely unchanged since the introduction of switching power supplies in the 1970s. In terms of size, life and control, LEDs have exceeded the LED drivers that drive them. One way to narrow this gap is to dramatically increase the switching frequency. The idea is not new, but the possibility of achieving it in a commercially viable way is. Application techniques that increase the switching frequency reduce the size of passive energy storage components. Therefore, it reduces the size and weight, thereby reducing the cost of the LED driver while improving reliability and longevity.
First, the size and form factor of the LED driver is set by the required components, such as passive energy storage components. Second, the limited lifetime of the required components limits the lifetime and reliability of LED drivers, making them a critical cause of LED system failure - and often before user expectations. Third, although the cost of LED drivers decreases as the number increases, further cost reductions are limited by the raw materials of conventional components such as copper. Therefore, LED drivers require new innovations to catch up with LED development and meet market demands.
The value, size and price of passive components in LED drivers are inversely proportional to the switching frequency, and a sharp increase in switching frequency will result in a significant increase in power density and a reduction in cost. The benefits of this concept are well known and the same is true. As described below, the increased switching frequency can cause severe switching losses, thereby damaging the efficiency of the hard-switching switching power supply and causing system failure.