Integrated, 2-Channel, High-Brightness LED Driver with High-Voltage Boost and SEPIC Controller

Industry's Only 2-String HB LED Driver for Automotive Applications Provides a Highly Integrated, Cost-Effective Solution

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The MAX16838 is a dual-channel LED driver that integrates both the DC-DC switching boost regulator and two 150mA current sinks. A current-mode switching DC-DC controller provides the necessary voltage to both strings of HB LEDs. The MAX16838 accepts a wide 4.75V to 40V input voltage range and directly withstands automotive load-dump events. For a 5V ±10% input voltage, connect VIN to VCC. The wide input range allows powering HB LEDs for small-to-medium-sized LCD displays in automotive and display backlight applications.

An internal current-mode switching DC-DC controller supports the boost or SEPIC topologies and operates in an adjustable frequency range between 200kHz and 2MHz. The current-mode control provides fast response and simplifies loop compensation. The MAX16838 also features an adaptive output-voltage adjustment scheme that minimizes the power dissipation in the LED current sink paths. The MAX16838 can be combined with the MAX15054 to achieve a buck-boost LED driver with two integrated current sinks.

The channel current is adjustable from 20mA to 150mA using an external resistor. The external resistor sets both channel currents to the same value. The device allows connecting both strings in parallel to achieve a maximum current of 300mA in a single channel. The MAX16838 also features pulsed dimming control with minimum pulse widths as low as 1µs, on both channels through a logic input (DIM).

The MAX16838 includes an output overvoltage protection, open LED, shorted LED detection, and overtemperature protection. The device operates over the -40°C to +125°C automotive temperature range. The MAX16838 is available in the 20-pin TSSOP and 4mm x 4mm, 20-pin TQFN packages.
MAX16838: Simplified Functional Diagram MAX16838: Simplified Functional Diagram Enlarge+

Key Features

  • Integrated, 2-Channel, 20mA to 150mA Linear LED Current Sinks
  • Boost or SEPIC Power Topologies for Maximum Flexibility
  • Adaptive Voltage Optimization to Minimize Power Dissipation in Linear Current Sinks
  • 4.75V to 40V or 5V ±10% Input Operating Voltage Range
  • 5000:1 PWM Dimming at 200Hz
  • Open-Drain Fault Indicator Output
  • LED Open/Short Detection and Protection
  • Output Overvoltage and Overtemperature Protection
  • Programmable LED Current Foldback at Lower Input Voltages
  • 200kHz to 2MHz Resistor Programmable Switching Frequency with External Synchronization
  • Current-Mode Control Switching Stage with Internal Slope Compensation
  • Enable Input
  • Thermally Enhanced, 20-Pin TQFN (4mm x 4mm) and 20-Pin TSSOP Packages


  • Automotive Display Backlights
  • Automotive Lighting Applications
  • LCD Display Backlights

See parametric specs for LED Drivers (83)

Part NumberRegulation TopologyMax. No. of LEDsLED ChannelsVIN
MAX16838 Inductor Based2224.5540

Pricing Notes:
This pricing is BUDGETARY, for comparing similar parts. Prices are in U.S. dollars and subject to change. Quantity pricing may vary substantially and international prices may differ due to local duties, taxes, fees, and exchange rates. For volume-specific and version-specific prices and delivery, please see the price and availability page or contact an authorized distributor.

MAX16838EVKIT: Evaluation Kit for the MAX16838
Product Reliability Reports: MAX16838.pdf 
Device   Fab Process   Technology   Sample size   Rejects   FIT at 25°C   FIT at 55°C   Material Composition  

Note : The failure rates are summarized by technology and mapped to the associated material part numbers. The failure rates are highly dependent on the number of units tested.

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