A good friend drops by your place and, knowing that you’re an electronics enthusiast, asks for help with a new handheld gadget that suddenly stopped working. Eager to lend a hand, you check the batteries and try the reset button, but the device fails to respond. Next, you expertly pop the case and find a tiny circuit board populated with a dozen solid-state components. However, most of these components are unmarked. Moreover, a thorough search on the web fails to reveal a schematic. With your friend looking on, you suddenly feel dread and powerless to help. Sound familiar? It shouldn’t and needn’t be.
The new PR4404 from PREMA Semiconductor is a LED driver providing more than 150mA out of one battery cell and up to 300mA from two batteries for one to three power LEDs. A hold input allows controlling the LED brightness via a PWM signal or switching the LED from a microcontroller.
Every electronics enthusiast and engineer is familiar with the fundamental passive circuit elements — resistors, capacitors, and inductors. With these elements, a source of power, and a few transistors, diodes, or other active elements, it’s possible to create just about every electronics device imaginable. Or perhaps not. What if our perception of what’s possible is limited by the nature of these basic elements? What could you create if you had additional elements to work with? Can you imagine a new element, and how it might be used in communications, computing, robotics, and entertainment?