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UCS2904 vs TM1814 vs SM16704

Since digital 4 channel RGBW led strips come out that can be independently controlled to allows us to create bolder and more vibrant colors than with RGB alone, more and more digital RGBW pixel led tapes are widely used in lighting projects.

Now the digital RGBW LED strip is fast-growing and can be very confusing at times. Many customers may realized that different vendors prompt different IC chips for these digital RGBW pixel led tapes. Some vendors mainly sell UCS2904 version like us; some guys offer TM1814 version; someone said their IC chips is SM16704.
Actually, not only the customers, but also us, always are confused why there are many IC pixel protocol choices to choose, especially for the freshman , it is a little hard to make sense .

So, today we'd like to talk some viewpoints for the different 4 channel IC pixel chips to help customers to make sense. Considering on the digital RGBW led tapes cotain SPI version and DMX512 version, this post we just discuss the SPI version, UCS2904 , TM1814 and SM16704. 

UCS2904 , SM16704, TM1814, but should be care SM16704 have two version which is SM16704 ( the short name of SM16704P)  and SM16704PB. 

Due to the pins of SM16704PB is different with the above mentioned three IC chips. So this time we mainly discuss the ones with exactly same pin define that they are UCS2904, SM16704 and TM1814 . 

UCS2904, SM16704 and TM1814 pins: 

SM16704PB Pins: 

Firstly we should note the functions the UCS2904 IC ,TM1814 IC and SM16704 IC both share:

  1. They are all 4-channel LED chips with single SPI DATA transfer.
  2. They are all can control RGB+W(other single color) solutions.
  3. They are all 8 bits data, 256 grayscale for each color makes dimming curves less smooth. 
  4. They are all NO redundant data line. 
  5. They are all constant current output 17mA . 

Secondly, note the differences between UCS2904 IC ,SM16704 IC and TM1814 IC led pixel tapes: 

  • Regarding the PWM rate:
    • UCS2904 , 1.8KHZ  >>  SM16704, 1.2KHZ  >>  TM1814 , 1.0KHZ;

  • Regarding the refresh rate allows for filming:
    •  UCS2904 , 60fps >>  SM16704 , 40fps >> TM1814, 34fps;

  • Regarding the controller control: 
    • UCS2904 work with Arduino easily  >>  SM16704 work with Arduino a little hard  >> TM1814 work with Arduino a little hard;

  • Regarding the timing waveform:    
    • UCS2904 and SM16704 are all 0 code ;

    •  TM1814 is 1 code; 

  • Regarding the signal transmission working performace:
    • UCS2904  >>  SM16704  >>  TM1814;

  • Regarding the output current adjustable:
    • TM1814, current-gain function in the software;

    • SM16704 no current ouput adjustable;
    • UCS2904 adjust output current should choose the SOP10 via external resistors;

Above overpoints are collected from our production experience. 

Wish above info can help you to determin which IC version digital RGBW LED strip is more suitable for you based on different requirements. 

If you have any info should be updated, tell us freely.

Best regards from Art LED Team