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Sensor uses I²C to report light levels

Posted: 06 Nov 2009     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:image sensor  I²C interface 

SFH 5712 sensor

Osram Opto Semiconductors rolls the SFH 5712 light sensor that detects ambient brightness in the same way as the human eye. The only sensor on the market that offers standard data rates and high speed rates of up to 3.4MHz, the device automatically provides a measured value between 3 and 65,000 lux twice a second. The sensor has four connections and takes up very little space, measuring just 2mm x 2mm x 0.7mm. It can be easily controlled via its integrated I²C interface.

"The benefits of our digital ambient light sensor are obvious," said Werner Kuhlmann, development manager for silicon detectors at Osram. "The sensor digitally transmits the true lux value so there is no need for complicated formulas to calculate an appropriate value from the output signal. This saves one operation in the application. It is also insensitive to mains-power related 50-60Hz flickering that is produced for example by fluorescent lamps." With 150µA during operation and only 1.5µA in stand-by mode the sensor consumes very little power.

The SFH 5712 is primarily intended for mobile applications in which the brightness of the display is constantly adjusted according to available ambient light. This extends the interval between recharges and therefore improves the service life of the devices. The main beneficiaries are cell phones, PDAs, navigation devices, netbooks and laptops. Ambient light adjusted brightness also improves readability. A good legible display on satellite navigation devices is not just highly convenient but also an important safety aspect.





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