Breakthrough in LED Dimmable Compatibility; The Marvell® 88EM8183

LED Technology

One of the many challenges LED has faced (in its emergence from obscurity), was that LED bulbs were not always compatible with standard household triac dimmers. Only certain types of LEDs have been available in a dimmable option, and added to an already expensive sticker price.
“Consider whether or not you need additional circuitry and the additional cost adding dimmable option.”
This frustrated consumers, many who found out by frying a 30 or $40 bulb, only to realize later it is non-compatible with their “exact dimmer switch”. Using Marvell's innovative mixed-signal architecture/signal processing technology stabilizes output current over a wide range of AC input, making it compatible with over 100 dimmers currently on the market.
This massively reduced solid-state package deploys;“Quasi Resonant Control (QRC) and valley switching method with Power Factor Correction (PFC) offering high efficiency, high power factor, low harmonic distortion, and low Electromagnetic Interference (EMI).” (

Signification Reduction of Components Required for Dimmable LED bulb Driver Compatibility

Current LED dimmable technology, relies on “bleeder” circuitry and assorted resisters/capacitors, and is itself an inefficient technology and added to difficulty passing LM 79/80 tests for energy efficiency certification (EnergyStar™).
“The primary side control topology eliminates the need to use opto-couplers and any other associated secondary feedback circuit, thus improving system reliability. The embedded digital core and analog circuit manages dimmer load requirements and also eliminates the need to use external bleeder circuits.”

This creates a fantastic opportunity for smaller halogen replacement LED bulbs such as GU 10 and can also reduce circuitry for products like; LED down lights, LED troffers, LED panels, modules and more.

• 9/10 consumers demand dimmable products; one in 10 commercial applications demand dimmable products

• North American consumers are demanding universal, (as possible) backwards compatibility with existing dimmer switches.

• Having to wonder whether or not it's compatible with the dimmer is not something the average person would concern themselves with.

• Non-dimmable CFL's compact fluorescence have been known to malfunction and create possible fire hazard when used with an unapproved dimmer/bulb combination.

• Reduction in components amounts to cost and space savings


Currently, choosing the “dimmable option” can run you up to $5-$10 extra each bulb (retail). Marvell's new dimmable circuitry could potentially eliminate the extra cost associated with “dimmable option “allowing for across the board compatibility with over 100 currently manufactured dimmers. This is seen as a crucial step in the adoption of LEDs in home consumer market.

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