HP Supplies SnapLED Lighting Assembly for 2000 Cadillac Deville

12 October 1999

HP Supplies SnapLED Automotive-Lighting Assembly for 2000 Cadillac Deville; First U.S. Automobile With All-LED Taillights

    PALO ALTO, Calif.--Oct. 11, 1999-- Hewlett-Packard Company today announced that the 2000 Cadillac DeVille, available in showrooms this fall, uses HP SnapLED(1) technology for its entire tail-lamp and brake lighting system.
    "We're pleased to offer HP's exceptional light-emitting diode technology, which offers drivers several advantages," said Ed Zellner, Cadillac DeVille chief engineer. "Cadillac and HP are putting science to work for the safety of our customers."
    Light-emitting diode technology brings several advantages to the DeVille, the most notable of which is reliability. LEDs last for thousands of hours, so most customers will probably never have to service this area of the car. While the '92 Cadillac Seville featured LEDs in the center-high-mount-stop-light (CHMSL) location and LED taillight assemblies are becoming commonplace on large truck trailers, this is the first combination taillight and CHMSL application in any U.S.-made car or light truck intended for ordinary consumer use.
    In addition, because LED taillights, in most cases, turn on faster than incandescent bulbs, drivers behind the vehicle receive an earlier warning to stop or slow down. According to a 1987 study conducted by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, motorists respond more quickly to LEDs, with improved braking response times of several car lengths at highway speeds. Quicker driver reactions have been linked to reduced vehicle collisions.
    Further, LED taillights provide a much smaller optical package, which results in a far more compact assembly and reduced encroachment on trunk space. Instead of a large bulb backed up by a sizable parabolic reflector, the LED light combines an intense light source with a miniature reflector in a tidy package. This helps achieve the DeVille's spacious 19.1 cubic feet of trunk space. The extra efficiency also reduces power consumption by 80 percent when the brake lights are lit.
    LED light also provides extra design flexibility. Each taillight has 72 LEDs that can be arrayed to create new and interesting visual appearances. Sixteen lights provide the taillight function; four are used for the side marker light; and the remaining 52 are illuminated (with the taillight LEDs) during braking. In the DeVille, the lights are arrayed to provide a strong vertical line, but there also is excellent visibility from the side view.
    SnapLED interconnects the LEDs via a system of thin metal strips that serve as electrical conductors, supports and heat sinks. Because the LEDs themselves are clinched to the metal frame, there are no wire leads in the assembly whatsoever, reducing the likelihood of open or short circuits.
    "The automotive industry has embraced LED advantages such as reliability, design flexibility and safety since the 1980s, and its adoption of LEDs for high-mount stop lamps has been excellent," said Adil Munshi, automotive marketing manager for HP's Semiconductor Products Group. "Now, as HP LEDs get brighter and much less expensive, we are seeing many innovative new designs for full combination lamps -- those that combine turn, tail and stop signals -- on more vehicle platforms."

    About HP

    Hewlett-Packard Company -- a leading global provider of computing and imaging solutions and services for business and home -- is focused on capitalizing on the opportunities of the Internet and the proliferation of electronic services.
    HP plans to launch Agilent Technologies as an independent company by mid-calendar 2000. Agilent consists of HP's test and measurement, semiconductor products, chemical analysis and healthcare solutions businesses, and has leading positions in multiple market segments.
    HP has 123,500 employees worldwide and had total revenue of $47.1 billion in its 1998 fiscal year. Information about HP, its products and the company's Year 2000 program can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.hp.com.

    (1) SnapLED technology will become the property of the expanded LumiLeds Lighting joint venture equally owned by HP and Royal Philips Electronics, should it become operational, as expected, in November, following the completion of definitive written agreements and the approval by government regulatory agencies.

     
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