Ambient light sensors for mobile technology

TAOS released the TSL2x72 series, which reportedly uses ALS technology for mobile technology in a variety of lighting conditions.


Texas Advanced Optoelectronic Solutions Inc., (TAOS) announced its 5th generation sensor family, the TSL2x72 Series. It reportedly delivers improved digital ambient light sensing (ALS) and proximity detection technology. The TSL2x72 Series is especially designed to create the widest dynamic range of operation necessary for mobile products and adapt to all lighting conditions.

The TSL2x72 Series includes the following device families:

  • TSL2572 – Digital Ambient Light Sensing Family
  • TSL2672 – Proximity Detection Sensing Family
  • TSL2772 – Integrated Digital Ambient Light and Proximity Detection Sensing Family

The TSL2x72 Series enhances reportedly provides ALS and proximity detection operation in environments over 60,000 lux (sunlight). The improved dynamic range is enabled by the device’s new programmable gain modes, including a reduced gain mode. Proximity detection enhancements consist of increased signal-to-noise performance and a programmable register which allows compensation for optical signal crosstalk. Power management is improved with an automatic power-down mode after interrupt, which provides a "run-once" capability, and further reduces system power consumption.

The TSL2x72 Series is based on the patented TAOS dual-diode architecture, which enables the devices to produce accurate ALS and proximity detection results when operating behind spectrally distorting glass regardless of the lighting sources (such as sunlight, fluorescent) and intensity. These combined features reportedly enable smartphone ALS and proximity detection implementations, which increase energy efficiency, extend battery life and improve the end-user experience.

The TSL2x72 Series of devices are register set, footprint, and pin compatible with the widely-adopted prior generation of TAOS devices, the TSL2x71 Series. This compatibility enables existing TSL2x71 designs to rapidly migrate to the TSL2x72 while minimizing hardware and software design and development efforts. The TSL2x72 Series of devices incorporate an IR LED current-limited driver, analog-to-digital conversion (ADC), interrupt capability, multiple I2C interface voltage options (3.0 V or 1.8 V) and flexible programming allowing it to be configured into many different applications.

“Mobile device vendors are continually striving to deliver more compelling products with an improved user experience; therefore, they demand ALS and proximity detection solutions capable of operating in a very wide range of lighting conditions” said Jerry Koontz, TAOS, Inc. Director of Marketing. “The ALS and proximity detection technology enhancements provided by these new devices deliver both increased performance and system design flexibility. These new devices extend the TAOS leadership position in delivering technology supporting the global ‘green’ movement by delivering products which reduce overall system power consumption and thus increase energy conservation.”

The TSL2x72 Series is mainly suited for mobile devices but also has applications in HDTVs, computers, and other consumer electronic products. Proximity detection can be used for notebook and desktop computers to automatically turn off the display to conserve energy and maintain information privacy when a user is not present. Other emerging applications for proximity sensing technology include touchless display controls for netbooks, tablets, HDTVs, toys, office equipment, industrial controls, and many other products. In addition, the TSL2x72 Series “light-to-digital” sensor family can be used in any general non-display application where a high-sensitivity light sensor is required using an I2C interface. 

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