iWatt Announces LED Backlight Driver Chip for LCD-TVs; Secures Funding for IC Business with Sale of IKOR Division

April 22, 2010 by Jeff Shepard

iWatt, Inc. announced its iW7040, which it describes as the world’s first 64 channel LED backlight IC. The company states that the iW7040 reduces direct backlit LCD-TV costs by $10-$15 per TV and makes it easier for TV manufacturers to achieve Energy Star 5.0 requirements by reducing power consumption 5-10W per TV. The new iW7040 provides similarly compelling advantages when used in segmented edge backlight solutions. This is a key milestone as iWatt focuses its strategic direction on power ICs for ac-dc and dc-dc applications.

In order to fund its IC businesses for the foreseeable future, iWatt also announced the IKOR power module division has been sold to Integrated Device Technology, Inc..

"The sale of IKOR will allow iWatt to fund the rapid development of new products in 3 major growth markets, LED Lighting, LCD-TV Backlighting and ac-dc ICs for cell phone chargers and network adapters" said Ron Edgerton, President and CEO of iWatt. "March was a record month for revenue and units shipped. Q1-10 revenue increased over 70% as compared to Q1-09 and the remainder of 2010 is projected to continue rapid growth. We are expanding our Asia Design Support Center which will be moving into a new building to accommodate our growth in 2010 and beyond."

iWatt’s iW36XX series ac-dc PWM controller ICs are said to be the first LED driver ICs for 5W-40W luminaires with primary side regulation that eliminates the need for an opto-coupler and related components thereby reducing BOM cost, enabling the smallest form factor and significantly improving MTBF. iWatt’s dimmable LED driver ICs automatically detect dimmer type and operate seamlessly with existing wall dimmers available worldwide.

The iW1696C is said to be the only IC that can meet the upcoming USB3.0 specs for Universal Chargers and is available today. An iWatt IC is used in the world’s first zero stand-by power cell phone charger that is slated for shipment by a major telecom operator in North America.

As part of its entry into the LCD-TV Power Management marketplace, iWatt plans to release several platform products for LED backlight and power supply over the next 12 months. The initial platform product, iW7040 is described as the world’s first 64 Channel LED Backlight IC for LCD-TVs. According to the company, customers can significantly reduce BOM cost while minimizing wasted power by up to 60%. The company also says that the iW7040 helps the LCD-TV achieve the lowest wattage possible today thereby exceeding all worldwide TV energy standards and enables TV manufacturers to achieve the forthcoming Energy Star v5.0 compliant power efficiency today.