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The World Athletics Championships Oregon22 will be held in July 2022 at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, U.S.A. This is the world’s premier sporting event where top athletes from around the world gather to challenge their own limits and records. Behind the starting line of the 100 Metres—the most-watched competition in the Championships—an LED signboard showing the TDK corporate logo will illuminate the athletes.

An Inside Look at the LED Starting Board Watching Over Athletes Aiming to Break World Records

(Photo: The first World Athletics Championships held in Helsinki)

World Athletics Championships and TDK
The World Athletics Championships are held biennially. They have seen some of the most celebrated matches and world records, including the men’s 100-meter world record of 9.58 seconds, set by Jamaica’s Usain Bolt (Berlin, 2009). TDK has sponsored the Championships as an Official Partner since the inaugural event held in 1983 in Helsinki.

You may have recognized the TDK corporate logo on signboards in the stadium and on athletes’ bibs through television and photos. At the starting line of the 100 Metres, the most popular competition in the Championships, stands a TDK signboard shining vividly with LEDs. The 2022 event marks the first time TDK power supply products designed for industrial equipment have been chosen for this LED signboard.

Power supplies enabling the bright LED display boards
LED-based video devices are found in many signboards and large-format displays installed at track and field, baseball and football stadiums, and TDK’s industrial power supply products are enabling their brightness.

Illuminating LEDs requires AC-DC converters* to convert electrical power. Commercial power is normally supplied in alternating current (AC), which must be converted to direct current (DC) in a video device to turn on the LEDs. AC-DC converters of various sizes are essential to the operation of all kinds of electronics, including PCs, smartphones, industrial equipment, and medical devices.

Therole of an AC-DC converter

An Inside Look at the LED Starting Board Watching Over Athletes Aiming to Break World Records
Alternating current (AC) is converted to direct current (DC) with an AC-DC converter. The converted DC is further converted to DC voltages optimal for each device.

In particular, LED displays that combine RGB (red, green, and blue) LEDs to produce vibrant color images require conversions to voltages that are optimal for each RGB color in order to display them accurately. AC-DC converters perform this conversion. Power supply products from TDK-Lambda, a TDK Group company, offer high conversion efficiency and excellent reliability. They are found in a variety of video equipment, including large-format displays at stadiums, billboards, building decorations, and signage at stations and airports.

Today, outdoor applications of LED displays continue to expand. In the United States, where sporting events are prevalent, large-format displays are becoming increasingly common in football and baseball stadiums, captivating the audience with presentations featuring athletes’ plays and dynamic visuals and sound. Major cities are seeing the installation of large LED-based billboards, as well as buildings with exteriors wrapped in LED displays that present a variety of visual content.

The proliferation of large-format LED video devices

An Inside Look at the LED Starting Board Watching Over Athletes Aiming to Break World Records
LED-based video devices are capable of high intensity and vibrant expression. TDK’s industrial power supply products are found in a variety of large-format video equipment, including displays on building exteriors and in stadiums and concert venues.

An Inside Look at the LED Starting Board Watching Over Athletes Aiming to Break World Records

For outdoor LED displays, reliability is paramount
In large-format video equipment, one power supply unit is required for each subdivided display panel. Large installations like those in stadiums may require over 10,000 AC-DC converters altogether. Because the failure of a single power supply can partially obscure an image or convey incorrect information, power supplies for video equipment must be highly reliable to ensure stable operation over long periods.

Tom Wichert, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing at TDK-Lambda Americas, explained the performance requirements for outdoor LED displays. “Outdoor signboards are used for long periods of time, so the reliability of power supplies is extremely crucial. And because signboards are often installed in dusty, debris-prone environments, convection- or conduction-cooled systems that do not rely on fans are desirable. Among TDK-Lambda’s wide range of power supply products, the PFE, PFH series and CUS400 series are highly reliable and ideal for outdoor signboards.”

An Inside Look at the LED Starting Board Watching Over Athletes Aiming to Break World Records
Tom Wichert
Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing
TDK-Lambda Americas

Since 2000, TDK had installed large outdoor billboards (now retired) with the TDK logo in major cities around the world—including Times Square in New York, Piccadilly Circus in London, Shanghai, and Tokyo—to promote its recording media products. These billboards also used TDK power supply products designed for industrial equipment.

Wichert emphasized reliability—the most important characteristic of power supply products. “Reliability and durability is a result of the entire process, from selecting high-quality components, conservative design de-rating of critical components, internal quality disciplines, to rigorous DVT (design verification testing) which includes electrical performance, EMC, thermal cycling, highly accelerated life testing, and temperature, humidity, and bias testing.”

Under the TDK-Lambda brand, TDK continues to offer highly reliable and innovative power supply products for computer, communications, medical, control and measurement, semiconductor manufacturing, automation, and railroad equipment, as well as for industrial equipment including LED devices and energy markets.

PFE, PFH and CUS400 Series of AC-DC Converters by TDK-Lambda

As a TDK Group manufacturer specializing in power supplies, TDK-Lambda develops innovative power supplies from the ground up—beginning with raw materials and components—and by leveraging its long-cultivated core technologies, such as circuit design, thermal and electromagnetic field evaluation, and simulation. For more details, please visit the Product Center.

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