ams launches optical sensor which measures ambient light from behind a smartphone’s OLED screen
New TCS3701 enables front-facing ambient light and proximity sensing measurements in smartphones – maximizing edge-to-edge display screen size – with sensor operation under OLED display
Premstaetten, Austria (7 January, 2019) -- ams (SIX: AMS), a leading worldwide supplier of high performance sensor solutions, today announced the release of the TCS3701, an RGB light and IR proximity sensor IC which can accurately measure the intensity of ambient light from behind an OLED screen. This capability supports today’s industrial design trend to maximize smartphone display area by eliminating front-facing bezels, where an ambient light/proximity sensor is typically located.
By developing this ‘Behind OLED’ ambient light/proximity sensor, ams enables smartphone manufacturers to achieve the highest possible ratio of display area to body size while retaining crucial touchscreen disablement and automatic display brightness/color adjustment functions, which require an RGB/infrared light sensor.
Despite the constraint of operating behind an emissive OLED display screen, the TCS3701 senses the addition of the ambient light passing through the display to light emitted by the display’s pixels located just above the sensor. ams has developed unique algorithms which enable accurate detection of ambient light levels without knowledge of the display pixel brightness above the sensor.
Light transmission through an OLED screen is limited by its opacity, but the TCS3701’s ultra-high sensitivity to light means that it can still produce accurate light measurements in all lighting conditions.
The TCS3701’s 2.0mm x 2.5mm x 0.5mm OQFN package is small enough to be placed behind a smartphone’s OLED screen. It gives a smartphone designer the flexibility to mount an IR emitter to support the proximity sensing function in the best front-facing location. Cross-talk compensation algorithms provide for reliable proximity sensing performance.
“Smartphone OEMs today are striving to maximize their products’ screen-to-body ratio, reducing the bezel area as much as possible on the display’s face,” said David Moon, Senior Marketing Manager at ams. “The TCS3701 enables phone designers to take this trend to a new level, potentially eliminating the bezel entirely. This is only possible because the TCS3701 can operate behind an OLED display, a breakthrough enabled by the outstanding sensitivity of the device and by the implementation of sophisticated measurement algorithms to compensate for the optical distortion caused by the OLED display.”
The TCS3701 is available for sampling now. Unit pricing is $1.25 in an order quantity of 1,000 units. For more technical information and to request samples or an evaluation board, go to www.ams.com/TCS3701.
ams is a global leader in the design and manufacture of advanced sensor solutions. Our mission is to shape the world with sensor solutions by providing a seamless interface between humans and technology. ams’ high-performance sensor solutions drive applications requiring small form factor, low power, highest sensitivity and multi-sensor integration. Products include sensor solutions, sensor ICs, interfaces and related software for consumer, communications, industrial, medical, and automotive markets. With headquarters in Austria, ams employs about 10,000 people globally and serves more than 8,000 customers worldwide. ams is listed on the SIX Swiss stock exchange (ticker symbol: AMS). More information about ams can be found at www.ams.com