Integrating PFC with a half-bridge controller and all relevant drivers and logic, the L6585 electronic ballast IC for fluorescent lamps promises to generate more light while using less energy. The chip is reportedly the first on the market to enable end-of-life detection in either lamp-to-ground or block capacitor-to-ground ballast configurations. It offers independently programmable pre-heating and ignition duration as well as the half-bridge frequencies for each operating phase, allowing the device to support many lamp types. Other features include voltage limiting, current control, over-current protection, over-voltage and feedback-disconnection detection on the PFC, and an automatic re-lamp feature that allows lamp replacement without powering off the other lamps. Samples are available now with production scheduled for January 2007. Available in a SO20 package, price is $1.40 each/10,000. STMICROELECTRONICS, Lexington, MA. (888) 787-3550.
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