Integrated colour sensor for smartphones and tablets

ams has claimed that the TMD3782 is the industry's first integrated ambient light, colour (RGB) and proximity sensor that is optimised for operation behind dark glass to drive intelligent display adaption in mobile devices. The optical module is able to sense light in a similar manner to the human eye, enabling more sophisticated control of the display brightness and colour.

Suited for smartphones and tablets, the sensor integrated in the optical module provides ambient light intensity (lux) and colour measurement. This enables mobile devices to automatically adjust their display’s colour and brightness for the best viewing experience and power savings.

High-resolution displays are now standard features in mobile devices, making it critical they provide accurate colours and brightness while operating in a wide range of light sources, including fluorescent, incandescent and sunlight. The TMD3782 on-chip filters minimise the effects of ultra-violet and IR light and enable its photopic response thus improving the overall accuracy of light and colour sensing.

Enhancing the user’s viewing experience across a wide range of lighting conditions offers mobile device manufacturers new means to draw consumers to their brand. The combination of ambient light and colour sensing enables mobile devices to deliver more brilliant display colours and a superior viewing experience in all lighting environments.

The TMD3782 combines the ambient light, colour and proximity sensor,  IR LED and optical lenses into a 3.9x2.4x1.4mm module suitable for mounting in the densely populated and low-profile board assemblies commonly found in mobile devices. The sensor’s integrated proximity sensor can be used to simplify a product’s user interface, for instance, supporting intelligent on/off control of smartphone touchscreens. The device’s integrated proximity sensor also allows tablets to eliminate false ambient light sensing measurements by detecting when the user’s hand or finger is blocking light from reaching the sensor. The proximity detection is factory-calibrated to a distance of 100mm, eliminating the need for OEMs to perform production-line calibration, and simplifying end-product manufacturing.

The TMD3782 sensor’s photodiodes have a radial structure to create a uniform and optimised angular response when mounted under the 360° module lens. The sensor also provides a 45° field of view for a broader and more accurate measurement of the lighting environment. An interrupt capability enables the sensor to alert the applications processor when pre-set light and colour measurement thresholds are crossed, eliminating the need for continuous polling and reducing overall system power requirements and hence extending battery life.

Darrell Benke, Senior Marketing Manager, Optosensor Products, ams, comments: “The adoption of the TMD3782 by manufacturers validates the industry trend of increasing intelligence in display management in smartphones and tablets. Consumers will choose devices which provide the best user viewing experience through automatic adjustment of display colour as well as brightness.”

The TMD3782 optical sensor module is in volume production and is priced at $1.45 (USD) in 1,000 unit quantities. ams also offers an evaluation kit for the TMD3782.

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