Ambient light sensor targets wearables and smartphones

11th July 2019
Mick Elliott

The Optoelectronics group of Vishay Intertechnology has launched an ambient light sensor for small form factor applications such as smart watches and sport bands where very high sensitivity is needed to allow light to be sensed through an often very dark cover glass.

The Vishay Semiconductors VEML6035 features a highly sensitive photo-diode, low-noise amplifier, and 16-bit ADC in a miniature low profile, transparent surface-mount package measuring only 2mm by 2mm by 0.4mm.

The sensor uses an active interrupt function that is triggered outside the threshold window settings to eliminate loading on the host.

Operated via simple I²C commands, the VEML6035 will be used for display dimming and brightening in mobile devices such as smartphones and wearables and as an optical switch in a wide range of consumer, computing, and industrial applications.

The devices' slim 0.4mm profile opens up many design options for display management in space-constrained designs.

Vishay's patented Filtron wafer-level optical filter technology enables ambient light spectral sensitivity close to that of the human eye.

The device offers detection with highly linear behaviour from 0.004lx to 6710lx and resolution down to 0.0004lx/ct, allowing for operation in applications with low-transmittance (dark) lens designs.

It provides 100Hz and 120Hz flicker noise rejection and excellent temperature compensation to maintain stability despite changes in ambient temperature. The sensor features low power consumption down to just 170μA in operating mode and 0.5μA in programmable shutdown mode.

The VEML6035's supply voltage and I²C bus range are both from 1.7V to 3.6V. Offered in a lead (Pb)-free, 6-pin package, the device is RoHS-compliant, halogen-free, and Vishay Green.

Samples and production quantities of the new ambient light sensor are available now, with lead times of 16 weeks for large orders.

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