LED/OLED Driver Reference Design

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Reference Design LogoA Light Emitting Diode (LED) is a semiconductor light source mainly used in signalling and lighting applications. A LED consists of anode and cathode nodes. When current is applied in a forward direction, the LED emits light. The Organic LED (OLED) is the latest development in the field of LED technology. It is a special type of LED which has a layer of organic compound. The advantage of the LED is its efficiency. It occupies a small area, consumes less power and lasts for a long duration.

In recent years there has been a surge in demand for LEDs and this translates into a rise in demand for LED controllers. PLDs and FPGAs offer an ideal solution for LED controllers as they can be easily programmed and reprogrammed for different functions. Thus a PLD and FPGA implementation for a LED controller helps designers make efficient use of LEDs.

The WISHBONE Bus interface is a free, open-source standard that is gaining popularity in digital systems that require the use of IP cores. This bus interface encourages IP reuse by defining a common interface among IP cores. That, in turn, provides portability for the system, speeds time to market, and reduces the cost of the end product.

This reference design is targeted for a LED controller to drive a GM1WA55311A LED device from Sharp Electronics. A typical application of this design includes the interface between a WISHBONE-compliant, on-board microcontroller and a LED device. This design can also be used as a reference to control other LEDs or OLEDs for similar functions.


The LED/OLED Driver reference design provides a bridge between the microcontroller and the LED device via a WISHBONE bus. The microcontroller programs the duty cycle for the red, green and blue LEDs. Below is a summary of the functionalities.
  • Supports red, green and blue LEDs
  • Programmable duty cycle range of 0-100%
  • WISHBONE Classic Interface Revision B compliant
  • A non-WISHBONE compatible signal, rst_i, is an asynchronous reset signal provided for PLD or FPGA implementations

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Block Diagram


Performance and Size

Performance and Utilization
Tested Devices* Language Performance I/O Pins Design Size Revision
LCMXO2-1200HC-4TG100CES Verilog >50MHz 18 59 LUTs 1.0
LCMXO-256C-3T100C Verilog >50MHz 18 54 LUTs 1.0
LC4064ZE-7TN48 Verilog >55MHz 18 44 Macrocells 1.0

* May work in other devices as well.

Note: The performance and design sizes shown above are estimates only. The actual results may vary depending upon the chosen parameters, timing constraints, and device implementation. See the design's documentation for details. All coding and design work was done on a PC platform unless noted otherwise. 


Technical Resources
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LED/OLED Driver - Source code
RD1103 1.1 3/1/2014 ZIP 1.4 MB
LED/OLED Driver - Documentation
RD1103 1.1 3/1/2014 PDF 989.6 KB

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