Catalyst Semiconductor Announces Fully Programmable (I2C), Multi-Function LED Driver for Multi-Display and RGB/Flash Portable Applications
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Catalyst Semiconductor Announces Fully Programmable (I2C), Multi-Function LED Driver for Multi-Display and RGB/Flash Portable Applications

CAT3626 Current Regulation Scheme Minimizes LED Flicker, Simplifies Programming and Maximizes Battery Life in Portable Systems

SUNNYVALE, Calif.—(BUSINESS WIRE)—March 30, 2006— Catalyst Semiconductor, Inc. (Nasdaq: CATS) a supplier of analog and mixed-signal semiconductors for solid state illumination and display products today expands its family of LED drivers with the CAT3626; a low noise fractional charge pump with an I2C serial bus interface for precise control and programming of up to six white/color LEDs. The CAT3626 is designed to easily and efficiently power backlighting for multiple displays, drive RGB "fashion-lighting" and control flash functions in high-performance portable applications, including cell phones, handheld devices and digital cameras.

Unlike most competitors' devices, the CAT3626 is designed with a current regulation scheme which minimizes LED flicker during periods of sudden battery fluctuations -- a common problem in portable systems experiencing repetitive load bursts, such as RF or audio power amplifiers.

Catalyst helps designers simplify system programming by configuring the CAT3626 LED driver's six output channels into three separate banks, with each bank containing a pair of tightly regulated and matched output channels. This makes the new device ideal for portable products with any combination of multiple RGB LEDs, LCD/keypad backlighting and flash functions. Additionally, an I2C interface allows LED currents within each dual output channel bank to be conveniently and accurately controlled in 0.5mA steps from zero to 32mA, yielding a total device output current of up to 192mA.

Targeted at battery-powered portable applications with supply voltages from 2.5V to 5.5V, the CAT3626 maximizes battery life with an automatic 1x/1.5x charge pump, which delivers up to 91% power efficiency. A dedicated Enable control allows the device to be placed into "Zero" current shutdown mode, eliminating battery drain when not in use.

In addition to enhanced illumination integrity, the CAT3626 offers low noise input ripple, as well as protection against short-circuit and thermal overload fault conditions.

A low profile, 0.8mm, RoHS compliant 4x4mm TQFN package, low external parts count and fixed high frequency (1MHz) operation all contribute to the reduction of system board area.

Product Features

-- Drives up to 6 LEDs at 32mA each

-- Three Independent programming zones (pairs of LEDs)

-- I2C (400kHz) User Interface for Programming and Dimming

-- Power Efficiency up to 91%

-- Accurate 0.5mA Dimming Resolution

-- Automatic 1x/1.5x Fractional Charge Pump

-- Very Low Noise Input Ripple

-- Fixed High Frequency Operation (1MHz)

-- "Zero" Current Shutdown Mode

-- Soft Start and Current Limiting

-- Thermal Shutdown Protection

-- 16-lead TQFN 4mm x 4mm Package

-- 100% RoHS-compliant Green Package

Price and Green Package Availability

The CAT3626 is offered in a RoHS-compliant, environment friendly "green" 4mm x 4mm TQFN 16-lead package. Ordering code is CAT3626HV4-T2 and pricing for 10,000 piece quantity is $0.96. Samples and evaluation kits and are now available. Projected lead-times for production quantities are currently 6 to 8 weeks ARO.

About Catalyst Semiconductor

Founded in 1985, Catalyst Semiconductor, Inc. is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California. The Company produces analog and mixed signal products in addition to an extensive range of nonvolatile memories. The analog and mixed-signal product lines include Digitally Programmable Potentiometers (DPP(TM)), Microcontroller Supervisory circuits, White and Color LED Drivers and DC/DC converters. The memory product lines consist of Serial and Parallel EEPROMs, Flash and NVRAM. Catalyst devices are used in telecommunications, networking systems, computation, automotive, industrial and consumer markets. Typical applications include LCD displays, automotive instrumentation, optical networks, modems, wireless LANs, network cards, DIMM modules, cellular telephones, digital satellite box receivers, set-top boxes and Internet routers. Catalyst's Quality Management System is ISO 9001:2000 certified. All Catalyst products are available in "green" lead- and halogen-free versions with full RoHS compliance. For additional information about Catalyst Semiconductor, visit our website at: www.catsemi.com.

Forward Looking Statements

Certain statements in this press release are forward looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements include references to product availability and lead times, which could change. Factors that could affect product availability and lead times include risks from interruptions in our manufacturing processes and the processes of our foundries and vendors, as well as fluctuations in customer demand and unpredictability of market demand. Additional information concerning factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements is contained under the heading "Certain Factors That May Affect the Company's Future Results of Operations" listed from time-to-time in Catalyst's SEC reports including, but not limited to, the report on the Form 10-K for the year ended April 30, 2005 and Forms 10-Q for the subsequent three fiscal quarters.

Editor Notes:

1. Trademark notices: I2C is a registered trademark of Philips Corporation.

2. The "2" in I2C is superscript.

3. Electronic images are available at: www.catsemi.com/editor.



Contact:
Catalyst Semiconductor, Inc.
Sherry Hill, 408-542-1080
Fax: 408-542-1200
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