Home > ST’s new flash and torch controller breaks through LED camera flash limitations

ST’s new flash and torch controller breaks through LED camera flash limitations

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article image STCF04 flash and torch controller

Leading global semiconductors specialist, ST Microelectronics has introduced a new IC designed to enable compact digital cameras and camera phones meet the increased power demand from built-in flash units while supporting more sophisticated user controls.  

ST’s new chip, the STCF04, is an integrated camera flash and torch controller that raises the maximum power of an LED flash module from a few watts to over 40 watts, producing brightness equivalent to an outdoor security floodlight. The IC is ideal for use in emergency high-intensity flashing lights as well as camera and camera phone applications.  

Delivering floodlight-strength flash power to conventional camera module architecture, the supercapacitor LED flash and torch controllers also provide extra flash and torch brightness controls with eight user-selectable levels for the flash and 12 for the torch, as well as a light sensor input.   

The STCF04 also features built-in flash and torch safety timers, temperature sensing and short-circuit protection.  

The STCF04 combines a supercapacitor, a discrete high-current MOSFET switch and high-power white LEDs in a unique configuration.  

The discrete MOSFET’s extra power enables designers to provide the higher quantities of light energy required by today’s high-megapixel camera sensors by specifying an LED flash unit rather than a conventional high-power xenon flash.  

The STCF04 is currently being used by Murata, a leading producer of supercapacitors and OSRAM, a top-tier supplier of flash modules for leading smartphone platforms.  

Key features of STCF04 flash and torch controllers:   

  • Maximum flash power >40W
  • 1 x 320mA torch current
  • 100mA privacy indicator red LED output; 12 adjustment steps
  • I²C bus with selectable address
  • Built-in temperature sensing, short-circuit, over-voltage and flash/torch timer safety features
  • Available in a 25-bump 3 x 3mm TFBGA package

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