NXP enables flicker-free deep dimming performance of compact fluorescents down to two percent

March 19, 2012 // By Paul Buckley
NXP Semiconductors N.V. has launched the company’s next generation of CFL driver ICs, the UBA2026x and UBA2027x, which claim to deliver improvements in the performance of dimmable compact fluorescent lamps. The benefits include flicker-free deep dimming down to 2 percent, compared to competitive offerings which typically dim down to approximately 10 percent.

Based on high-efficiency GreenChip technology, the UBA2026x and UBA2027x also accelerate warm-up times to full brightness up to a factor of five, and offer greater compatibility with existing triac- or transistor-based wall dimmer switches. With the new ICs, manufacturers can now satisfy consumer demand for more user-friendly and reliable compact fluorescent lighting systems.

The NXP UBA2026x and UBA2027x driver ICs are being adopted by leading manufacturers such as Ningbo Baishi, which announced EU Stage 5 CFL qualification for non-dimmable compact fluorescents in a separate news release today.

The UBA2027x family consists of a range of simple, compact solutions suitable for retrofit CFL designs, emulating a natural dimming curve using logarithmic correction, together with an adjustable minimum deep dimming level down to 2% while remaining flicker-free. The UBA2026x family provides an easy-to-use “step-dimmable” solution, which enables dimming in four defined steps by simply toggling the standard on-off switch.

Both the UBA2026x and UBA2027x devices also feature a unique boost function which addresses the problem of bulbs taking an excessive length of time to achieve full brightness. By increasing power for up to three minutes after the bulb is switched on, the warm-up time to full brightness can be accelerated by a factor of five – a key feature enabling manufacturers to meet or exceed the latest Super CFL specifications, as well as forthcoming requirements for ENERGY STAR and the EU Ecodesign regulations.
 
Dimmer compatibility has been an ongoing issue for bulb manufacturers, with consumers quickly finding that certain CFLs will not work with existing wall switches. The UBA2026x and UBA2027x family of devices from NXP has been designed to work with the broadest range of available dimmer switch solutions, including triac- or transistor-based wall dimmers. Lamps based on these ICs can reach lifetimes well above standard CFL expectations, with over 15,000 hours of use and up to 100,000 on/off switching cycles.

Both the UBA2026x and UBA2027x families are available immediately,