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‘World’s first’ light sensor with fully integrated optical stack

ams has announced the completion of a consortium project to develop and launch what it says is the world’s first light sensor with fully integrated optical stack.

It includes multiple filters, lenses and an aperture replacing multiple discrete components. It was developed by the HIOS consortium – with partners including ams, APC, Boschman and Bühler – and was funded under Horizon2020.

The consortium looked to address demand for sensors that are high performance, such as high sensitivity or low power consumption, in combination with small size and low cost. It initially set out to build a concept for a miniaturised and high performance ambient light sensor.

Partners then refined their ambitions to instead launch a colour sensor. Bühler developed and enhanced new equipment for advanced optical interference filter processing. Boschman established a new level of accuracy with its moulding tool and process development for optical packaging applications being capable to form diffusor layers, lenses and apertures.

These developments were then demonstrated for implementation on the ams family of ambient light sensor products. Based on the quality of the interference filters developed by this project, new spectral colour sensor products could be designed covering applications from UV, visible and infrared wavelengths.

From there, ams launched the AS7341 colour sensor, an 11-channel spectrometer for spectral identification and colour matching applications. With 8 optical channels, this sensor enables new spectral sensing functions for mobile devices covering the whole visible range from UV to near infrared. It also has 3 additional channels for Clear, NIR and Flicker that allows exact determination of 50Hz or 60Hz ambient light flicker to minimise distortion of ambient light sources.

Verena Vescoli, Senior Vice President R&D at ams, commented, “Thanks to Horizon2020 funding from the European Union and superb collaboration from all partners in the HIOS Consortium, we’ve been able to drive market innovation at a far faster rate than would have otherwise been possible. This is a great example of how European companies can work together to compete on the world stage supported by the European Union.”

Charlotte Hathway

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