App note: Matrix LED and where they are used


White paper about matrix LED usage from Integrated Silicon Solution Inc. (ISSI). Link here (PDF)

People today come in contact with a wide range of consumer electronics (CE) devices in their daily lives. CE devices have become increasingly complex with added functionality enabled by MCU’s which provide the intelligence for automating functions. Control panels used in appliances and other equipment leverage MCUs and several integrated circuits to enable functions, such as sensing, process control and user interface (UI).

The user interface consists of input controls, visual and audio feedback used to configure the product to perform complex tasks. An aesthetically pleasing UI is a major differentiating feature for home appliances such as ovens, washing machines and refrigerators. Home appliance UIs commonly use capacitive or inductive touch sensing to provide an easy to clean interface unmatched by mechanical buttons. In addition to touch sensing, a UI has to provide audio and visual feedback in response to the user selection. The UI may not be the most important factor in determining the commercial success of CE devices. However, once parity is established on the major functions such as washing capacity, energy efficiency, etc, the UI becomes a key differentiator. Today, parity has been established on most of the important factors making the UI a product differentiating factor.

As the trend continues to move away from purely mechanical switches to a fully electronic interface expect to see demand for LEDs and drivers to continue increasing.

Join the Conversation


  1. I would say the UI causes all the problems in modern appiiances
    It’s often one of the first things to fail (stuck buttons and the like), the software is often buggy, and it’s certain to be proprietary and difficult to replace.
    So it’s perfect for manufacturers to differentiate their products, but a bane for users.
    Appliances should just have an on-off switch and a couple of simple function buttons to make immediate use easy, and anything more complex should be configured from a smartphone using bluetooth. where you get a full touchscreen UI supported by a polished OS, and applications that can be updated, or even replaced with open-source or community versions.
    Manufacturers would then concentrate on efficiency, quality, longevity, etc, rather than UI gimmicks.

  2. Allow me to strongly disagree. Smartphones should not be the universal front-end to everything. Beyond not even being convenient (I have yet so see any function I can’t operate faster on the local UI than anyone fumbling with a phone looking for the right app) they’re a disaster for anyone planning to use their devices longer than a few years: the original manufacturer loses interest as soon as you paid for the hardware, and in a few OS iterations your old control app doesn’t even install any more – or just doesn’t like the new display resolution / UI paradigm / relies on physical buttons that are no longer there (I have a specific example for that) etc. No. It was bad enough when you stopped being able to operate your TV beyond volume/channel up/down without the remote. If you want to make your Thing app-accessible, fine, I don’t care – but if the app is needed to operate your Thing I’m flat out not buying it. Sorry.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.