High sensitivity ambient light sensor targets wearables & smartphones

10 July 2019

Vishay VEML6035 low power, high sensitivity, I²C ambient light sensor

Patented wafer-level optical filter technology in space-saving compact 2mm by 2mm by 0.4mm package, targetting challenging small form factor applications.

Vishay's Optoelectronics group has announced a new ambient light sensor for small form factor applications such as smartwatches 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 0.4 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 behavior 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 provides 100 Hz and 120 Hz flicker noise rejection and excellent 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 VEML6035's 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, with lead times of 16 weeks for large orders.

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