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Digital light sensor sets light sensitivity benchmark

Posted: 19 Apr 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Ams? light sensors? displays? smartphone? tablet?

Ams has recently launched a digital light sensor family which has set a new performance benchmark by offering low light sensitivity down to 0.000377 lux. The TSL2591 line of devices offer a wide 600M:1 dynamic range up to 88,000 lux (bright sunlight). It increases design flexibility and offers engineers new levels of performance in ambient light sensors for displays as well as for a wide range of non-display applications.

For display applications, the TSL2591 light sensor device family utilises a patented Ams dual-photodiode architecture that provides extremely accurate ambient light measurements even when placed behind material attenuating as much as 99 per cent of the visible light while automatically compensating for the increased IR component. This enables a photopic response to ambient light intensity that mimics the human eye. Its ultra-high sensitivity reduces or eliminates design concerns for smartphone and tablet displays in which inked glass variations can result in costly design alterations to accommodate less sensitive devices.

The TSL2591 can be placed deeper within the end product, providing more efficient and lower-cost solutions which offer the product designer more flexibility from a system design perspective. It also provides for a sleek, seamless industrial design with no unsightly apertures or voids in inked glass.

In addition, the company's latest light sensor line provides an interrupt feature that simplifies and improves system efficiency by eliminating the need to poll a sensor for a light intensity value. The primary purpose of the interrupt function is to detect a meaningful change in light intensity. Meaningful change can be defined by the user in terms of light intensity and time, or the persistence of a change in intensity. The device is a fully integrated light-to-digital sensor with dual analogue-to-digital converters and an I2C interface. It offers programmable gain and programmable integration time.

The complete Ams portfolio of intelligent light sensors, including the TSL2591 device family, is included in the Ams online product selector tool. This tool offers a user-friendly parametric search capability enabling engineers to quickly and easily compare design specifications and find the right product for their application.

The Product Selector tool supports five categories of products manufactured by Ams: light sensors, LED drivers, magnetic position sensors, power converters, and power management ICs (PMICs). The search capability supports a wide choice of design criteria and includes an innovative virtual navigation pointer to rank products according to parameters such as price, board area or pitch. The tool also provides direct access to analogue bench, an online design tool (where available), and to the Ams online store so that design engineers can place orders for available devices.

The TSL25911FN (Vbus=Vdd=3.3V) and the TSL25913FN (Vbus=1.8V) ultra-high sensitivity light sensors are available now from Ams and its authorised distributors in quantities of 1,000 pieces. Evaluation modules for the TSL2591 are available. The modules have a USB interface and are supported by a software application with a GUI which allows simple configuration and inspection of the device's registers. In addition, Ams provides support for device drivers, including C reference code.

For further information on the light sensor TSL2591 or to request samples, please visit

The Product Selector tool is at

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