Three-in-one sensors save energy in advanced displays

28th June 2016
Nat Bowers

Designed for use in brightness detection and smart switching in high end and standard smart phones, tablet PCs, residential smart lighting and digital signage applications, EVERLIGHT Electronics has announced the APM-16D17-05-DF8 and APM-16D17-06-DF8 three-in-one sensor modules.

The APM-16D17-05-DF8 and APM-16D17-06-DF8 are digital output three-in-one sensor modules (APM is an abbreviation for Ambient light and Proximity Module), combining ambient light, proximity and an embedded IR emitter (to sense distance). Both series use a specially coated photo diode with an optical response similar to human eyes. They have a common I²C interface allowing them to be driven with a supply voltage of only 1.7V. They are optimised to sense the ambient brightness and adjust the backlight of a screen to the most clear and comfortable settings. For example, the screen gets brighter in shining daylight but darkens in a dark environment.

The sensors can also detect a nearby object and turn on or off the screen based on the distance allowing it to turn off the screen and touch panel while the user makes a call (face close to the screen). After finishing the call, both screen and touch panel will automatically go back to the standard operating mode. These products can be programmed to sense an exceptionally long distance up to 10cm. These APMs are also equipped with a programmable interrupt notification with an adjustable sensing period, allowing software control of the screen brightness during Audio functions. This reduces power consumption, the most concerning issue of portable electronics devices.

The APM-16D17-05-DF8 is a VCSEL sensor with strengths of both compact size and energy saving design. It has a receiving angle of ±35° and is designed to be mounted behind an extremely small hole (diameter at 2mm) in the front panel. Its illumination sensitivity range is 0.471m-53280 Lux and certified to IEC 60825-1 for the safety of laser products to the human eye. Combining the features of Adjustable Position Sensing, Ambient Light Sensing, and Safety makes APM-16D17-05-DF8 perfectly suitable for high and medium end portable device applications.

The APM-16D17-06-DF8 uses a lower cost standard LED sensor with a receiving angle of ±40° and an illumination sensitivity range of 0.536m-69000Lux. It is designed to be mounted behind either a large oblong hole or dual holes in the fount panel. Its excellent cost-performance ratio is ideal for budget electronic devices. In addition to the features above, EVERLIGHT’s APM-16D17-06-DF8 solves common problems caused by the glass screen surface reflecting the infrared signal. EVERLIGHT achieved this by implementing a unique package design which reduces cross-talk to a minimum.

Samples of the APM-16D17-05-DF8 and APM-16D17-06-DF8 are available for sampling, upon request, with mass production scheduled for Q3 2016.

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