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Ambient light sensor with high sensitivity targets wearables and smartphones

The Optoelectronics group of Vishay Intertechnology has introduced a new ambient light sensor for small form factor applications such as smart watches and sport bands.

The sensors are intended for use where very high sensitivity is needed to allow light to be sensed through an often very dark cover glass.

The 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 2 mm by 2 mm by 0.4 mm. 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 can 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 0.4 mm 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 0.004 lx to 6710 lx and resolution down to 0.0004 lx/ct, allowing for operation in applications with low-transmittance (dark) lens designs. The VEML6035 also provides 100 Hz and 120 Hz flicker noise rejection and temperature compensation to maintain stability despite changes in ambient temperature.

The device features low power consumption down to just 170 μA in operating mode and 0.5 μA in programmable shutdown mode.

The supply voltage and I²C bus range are both from 1.7 V to 3.6 V. 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,

Author
Neil Tyler

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