MAX6960 programming guide for large LED displays

The family of drivers supports up to 256 daisy-chained ICs to drive, control, and program large-matrix displays. The application note explains the differences among the various devices and how to utilize them for multiplane, multirow, and multicolumn usage.

Using no external components, the MAX6960 LED driver drives two single-color, 8 x 8 dot-matrix digits through its multiplexed 8-row and 16-column ports. A single, open-drain, row port can sink currents from all 16- The average current through each column port is, therefore, 5mA. The average current through each column port is, at, 5mA.

The MAX6960 can also drive a single two-color (red, green), 8 x 8 dot-matrix digit. Each dot-matrix element can be turned on or off individually or have four (including off) intensity levels. All digits can be PWM controlled in 256 steps.

Up to 256 MAX6960 devices can be daisy-chained to form a larger control unit, whose display memory can be addressed by a host controller through a 4-wire serial interface consisting of DIN, DOUT, CLK, and active-low CS. Another 3 -wire interface, consisting of ADDCLK, ADDIN, and ADDOUT used among all the daisy-chained chips, makes the interconnection self-configured; no intervention is needed from the host controller.

The other members of this LED driver family are similar to the MAX6960. The MAX6961 is, however, limited to turning the dot-matrix elements on and off. The MAX6962 can only drive single-color digits. Finally, the MAX6963 turns the dot- Matrix elements on and off and can only drive a single-color digit.

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