Features and Benefits

  • 25Mbps Industry-Standard 4-Wire Serial Interface at 5V
  • 3V to 5.5V Logic Supply
  • Eight Constant-Current LED Outputs Rated at 36V
  • Up to 55mA Continuous Current per Output
  • Output Current Programmed by Single Resistor
  • 3% Current Matching Between Outputs
  • 6% Current Matching Between ICs
  • -40°C to +125°C Temperature Range

Product Details

The MAX6970 serial-interfaced LED driver provides eight open-drain, constant-current-sinking LED driver outputs rated at 36V. The device operates from a 3V to 5.5V supply. The MAX6970 supply and the LEDs' supply can power up in any order. The constant-current outputs are programmed together up to 55mA using a single external resistor. The MAX6970 operates with a 25Mbps, industry-standard, 4-wire serial interface.

The MAX6970 uses the industry-standard shift-register-plus-latch-type serial interface. The driver accepts data shifted into an 8-bit shift register using data input DIN and clock input CLK. Input data appears at output DOUT eight clock cycles later to allow cascading of multiple MAX6970s. The latch-enable input, LE, loads the 8 bits of shift register data into an 8-bit output latch to set which LEDs are on and which are off. The output-enable input, active-low OE , gates all eight outputs on and off, and is fast enough to be used as a PWM input for LED intensity control.

For applications requiring LED fault detection, refer to the MAX6981 data sheet that automatically detects open-circuit LEDs.

For safety-related applications requiring a watchdog timer, refer to the MAX6980 data sheet, which includes a fail-safe feature that blanks the display if the serial interface becomes inactive for more than 1s.

The MAX6970 is one of a family of 10 shift-register-plus-latch-type LED drivers. The family includes 8-port and 16-port types, with 5.5V- or 36V-rated LED outputs, with and without open-circuit LED detection and watchdog. All versions operate from a 3V to 5.5V supply, and are specified over the -40°C to +125°C temperature range.


  • Architectural Lighting
  • Gaming Features
  • Marquee Displays
  • Point-of-Order Signs
  • Traffic Signs
  • Variable Message Signs

Product Lifecycle icon-recommended Production

At least one model within this product family is in production and available for purchase. The product is appropriate for new designs but newer alternatives may exist.

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