Melexis’ New Approach to Dynamic RGB-LED Application Development

Tessenderlo, Belgium 26 March 2024 – Melexis unveils the ADK81116 application development kit. Designed to simplify the development of dynamic RGB-LED automotive applications, this comprehensive solution comes with pre-loaded configurable firmware. It eliminates the need for firmware development, replacing it with straightforward calibration and configuration through a user-friendly graphic user interface (GUI).

Melexis’ New Approach to Dynamic RGB-LED Application Development

LED lighting, especially when implemented in a highly dynamic manner, is increasingly recognized as a key element of modern automotive design. It creates striking visual differentiation, helping manufacturers to make their designs stand out, as well as allowing for the deployment of smart feedback systems for both infotainment and advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) functions.

But for Tier 1 manufacturers producing traditional mechanical or electronic assemblies, integrating animated lighting systems with sophisticated firmware requirements can create quite a technical challenge.

To enable accurate color mixing in a typical dynamic RGB application, it is necessary to develop firmware that allows for diagnostics, system integration, and calibration of the base pulse width modulation (PWM) settings. Additionally, the firmware must undergo extensive testing and validation before it is ready for production.

ADK Contents and GUI Interface

This ADK81116 removes the need for software development. Included in the application development kit are the necessary wiring harness, a power supply, and an evaluation lighting stripe with 30 RGB LEDs driven by five MLX81116AAE IC drivers. To begin using the ADK81116, all you need is the Melexis Universal Master (MUM) for configuring and simulating the end application.

This kit includes the new variant of Melexis' popular 12-channel MLX81116, the MLX81116KLW-AAE-150-RE. This UART over CAN-FD RGB-LED driver variant comes preloaded with a Melexis-developed and validated configurable firmware. The hardware meets automotive standards and features 16-bit color control with a mixing accuracy of delta u’v’ <0.01.

Through adopting this novel approach to application development, the arduous task of creating firmware from the ground up is no longer necessary. Instead, the preloaded MLX81116KLW-AAE-150-RE can be effortlessly configured and tested using EEPROM parameters managed through Melexis’ intuitive GUI (see Figure).

ADK81116 - Melexis software tools

This new approach redefines the development process and is better suited to modern automotive design, where shorter development cycles are desired.

By eliminating the necessity for firmware development expertise, the development time is greatly reduced. Furthermore, the validation process is reduced as well as Melexis’ firmware is already pre-validated. The combined impact is the potential to reduce the development and validation processes by months, as well as a significant operational cost reduction.

Reduced Workload and Increased Support

By introducing the ADK81116 and its associated MLX81116KLW-AAE-150-RE variant, many of the typical challenges faced in developing dynamic lighting systems for the automotive industry are overcome.

Nevertheless, Melexis’ assistance goes beyond simply changing the development approach. Included in the GUI is Melexis’ extensive color library, which contains compensation settings for a wide range of LEDs to ensure the specified color point is hit. As well as reducing development efforts, this library helps to reinforce supply chain resilience by enabling easier use of LEDs from different manufacturers.

“Melexis has addressed the needs of its customers by removing a significant portion of the development effort and moving towards a more standardized workflow,” said Roland Steger, Business Development Manager. He continued, “With this application-specific solution, Tier’s cut months from their developments. They no longer need any firmware development knowledge and are better positioned to keep pace with the rapidly evolving automotive lighting market”.

The ADK81116 is available now. To discover more, visit or contact us directly via