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SK9822 VS APA102

Suntech Lite is a top manufacturer and supplier that focuses on pixel LED strips and LED neon lights.

Many people believe that SK9822 is a complete duplicate of APA102 and can be used as a direct replacement in most applications, as it has the same interface and color sequence (so LED strips based on SK9822 and APA102C can be linked together).

However, SK9822 is not an exact clone of APA102, as it adds some interesting features. For example, SK9822 has voltage-independent colors and brightness over a wide voltage range, which means that the color of the LED is not affected by voltage drop in the power supply, unlike APA102C.

Let’s take a closer look at the differences between SK9822 vs APA102.

SK9822 vs APA102

A table to quickly understand the comparison: SK9822 VS APA102

Item SK9822 APA102
Voltage 5V 5V
Chip Size 0.65 mm² 1 mm²
LED Qty/M 60leds 135leds/144leds/200leds
IC Built-in Built-in
Break Continue No No
Update Simultaneous Staggered
Update trigger Reset frame (0x00000000) RGB data transmission
PWM Resolution 8-bit (256 levels) 8-bit (256 levels)
PWM Frequency 4.7KHz 20KHz
Transmission rate 15MHZ 30MHZ
Type RGB 5050 Pixel RGB 5050 or 2020(Dotstar Micro) Pixel
Data Rate <4Mbs <4Mbs
Description APA102 Compatible Best type available in many cases
Protocol 4-wire protocol (+,-, clock, data) 4-wire protocol (+,-, clock, data)
Production time Short Long
Price Low Expensive (High)

If you want to know more details about SK9822 VS APA102 LED IC, please click here:

SK9822 IC datasheet

APA102 IC datasheet

Differences: SK9822 vs APA102 LED strip

sk9822 led strip vs apa102 led strip
  • Chip Size:

The chip used in SK9822 is much smaller than that in APA102. Roughly estimated, the size of SK9822 is about 0.65 mm², while the size of APA102 seems to be 1 mm².

  • Protocol:

APA102 and SK9822 are both dual-signal, with one being a data signal and the other a clock signal. The two signals make the high PWM frequency much faster than SK6822, WS2813, SK6812, and WS2812B, so they are generally used in large projects to prevent signal congestion. As both use two lines (CLK&DAT) for data transmission, the refresh rate is very fast.

  • PWM Frequency:

APA102’s PWM is faster than SK9822. APA102 PWM frequency is 20khz, while SK9822 only has 4.7khZ, as seen from the picture.

  • The first signal:

The difference between SK9822 and APA102 lies in the first signal. For the first signal, the old SK9822 is a base sync signal, but APA102 LED does not have this signal. Usually, they can be controlled by the same controller and are compatible, but sometimes they cannot be used with certain special controllers. However, the new SK9822 has been redesigned and has the same first signal as the current APA102 LED, so it can use the same controller.

  • Production Time:

Due to the long production time of APA102 IC, SK9822 is a good choice as a substitute for APA102 LED.

Similarities: SK9822 vs APA102 LED strip

SK9822 and APA102 usually have a voltage of 5V, both are built-in ICs, and neither has a break point resume function. From the picture, it can be seen that APA102 and SK9822 LEDs do not require capacitors because their chips have signal filtering functions.


In summary, considering that APA102 is too expensive and has a long production time, SK9822 is a more cost-effective product in most cases.

If you need a specific product, please consult Suntech Lite’s most professional LED engineers. We have provided LED products and LED lighting solutions for thousands of customers. Welcome to consult us.

SK9822 LED strip and APA102 LED strip products:

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