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Light Sensors
Light Sensors - AMS Products

Light Sensor

ams provides the industry’s broadest portfolio of high-performance and high-sensitivity digital discrete and integrated module optical sensors. The portfolio includes ambient light sensors, proximity sensors, RGB and XYZ color sensors, gesture sensors, Light-to-Frequency (LTF) sensors, Light-to-Voltage (LTV) sensors and Linear Arrays.


Ambient Light Sensors

The Ambient Light Sensor (ALS) products from ams provide measurements of ambient light intensity which match the human eye’s response to light under a variety of lighting conditions. Each device has a specific operating range of performance, from very low light up to bright sunlight. High sensitivity coupled with wide dynamic range make these ALS products ideal for operation behind dark inked glass. They enable consumer electronics device manufacturers to implement display dimming and brightness control functions, helping to reduce power consumption and extend battery run-time.


Ambient Light Sensors & Proximity Detection

ams supplies a family of products which combine an Ambient Light Sensor (ALS) and proximity detection in a single device. The ALS provides measurements of ambient light intensity which match the human eye’s response to light under a variety of lighting conditions, and through a variety of attenuation materials. The proximity detection feature allows a large dynamic range of operation for use over short distances and behind dark glass. These devices are intended for use in mobile phones, and over longer distances for presence detection in computer displays and monitors.


Color Sensor

The color sensor product family includes both RGB (Red, Green, Blue) and high-accuracy XYZ light sensors for precise color measurement, determination, and discrimination. XYZ sensors are capable of providing xy chromaticity co-ordinates in accordance with the CIE 1931 color map. The ams color sensors include filters to block unwanted IR light in the visible spectral range, enabling highly accurate color measurement. Their high sensitivity coupled with their wide dynamic range make them well suited to continuous color temperature measurement of ambient light in display management systems, and automatic-white-balance assistance in camera applications. Some products have additional IR channels to assist with IR light source identification.


Color Sensor & Proximity Detection

The ams family of color and Ambient Light Sensing (ALS) sensors combined with proximity detection provides red, green, blue, and clear (RGBC) or green and clear (ALS) light sensing and proximity detection. These modules also contain an IR LED for the proximity function. Both the light and proximity sensing functions feature high sensitivity and a wide dynamic range, so these devices may be placed behind the dark bezels of smartphones, monitors, laptops and TVs.


Gesture, Color Sensors & Proximity Detection

The gesture product family performs advanced gesture detection, proximity detection, digital Ambient Light Sensing (ALS) and color sensing (red, green, blue and clear). It also implements optical pattern generation for barcode transmission and remote controls. The gesture sensor modules provide a highly integrated solution offering five essential functions to enable a touchless interface and to optimize the end user experience of communications and consumer electronics equipment. Gesture detection uses four directional photodiodes to sense IR energy emitted from the integrated LED, converting the measurements of reflected IR light into information about physical motion.



Light-to-Frequency (LTF) sensors convert measurements of light intensity to a digital form for direct interfacing to a microcontroller. The output of the device is a square wave or pulse stream the frequency of which is linearly proportional to the light intensity. LTF converters are designed for applications such as ambient light measurement, light absorption/reflection in products such as white goods, photographic equipment, colorimetry, chemical analyzers and display contrast controls. They may be used in any system that requires a wide dynamic range, and/or high resolution digital measurement of light intensity.



Proximity detection sensors measure reflected infrared (IR) energy to detect the presence of an object or person. The devices include an integrated LED driver and, in some devices, an integrated LED. The proximity detection devices provide four programmable LED drive currents and IR pulse repetitions. The proximity detection circuitry compensates for ambient light, allowing it to operate in environments ranging from bright sunlight to dark rooms. The wide dynamic range allows operation in short-distance detection applications behind dark glass, such as mobile phones. Proximity detection sensors can be used to replace a mechanical switch or to sense human gestures.


Linear Array

Linear array sensors consist of a linear array of integrating photosensing pixels which measure incident light over a user-defined exposure time and generate a voltage or digital output which represents the light exposure at each pixel. The sensors are available in a variety of lengths and pixel resolutions. The analog output may be directly interfaced to an ADC for digital processing or for comparing black/white thresholds. Applications include contact image sensing, optical character recognition, edge detection, and object measurement in products such as copiers, document scanners and spectroscopy.


Spectral Sensing

The ams multi-spectral sensing family includes a broad array of spectral sensing devices providing between 6 and 18 channels in the visible and near-infrared spectrum. All products feature CMOS interference filters and benefit from innovative factory calibration to deliver precise spectral characteristics over their lifetime. Most include direct LED drivers to synchronize and control light sources for efficient digital shutter operations.

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