A new light sensor chip from Taiwan-based Capella Microsystems promises to extend battery life in digital cameras and other portable devices. Itâ€™s called the CM3612 chip, and the company claims it is the industry’s first proximity and ambient light sensor chip.
It works by detecting when a device screen is not being viewed and turns it off to preserve battery life. The chip also contains an ambient light sensor that extends battery life by allowing the automatic adjustment of screen brightness to match external light conditions.
According to Cheng-chung Shih, President and CEO of Capella
Microsystems, Inc, “In the past, proximity and ambient light sensors had never been combined in a single chip because of the cost and space required for plastic filters. Our patent-pending Filtron technology allows us to overcome this obstacle by building the optical filters into the chip as part of the integrated circuit fabrication process.”
The chip contains a digital low-pass filter that removes florescent light flicker, a 12 bit A/D converter, DSP, temperature compensation circuit, I2C interface, oscillator and a driver for an infrared emitter.