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  • TCS3x71/TCS3x72 Digital Color Sensors
Dec 2011
AMS-TAOS USA Inc.Request Info
PLANO, Texas, Dec. 2, 2011 — TAOS has announced the TCS3x71 and TCS3x72 digital color RGB sensors with an infrared blocking filter and a proximity sensor.

The sensors provide color measurement and, when coupled with an IR LED, proximity detection within a wide range of lighting conditions and through a variety of attenuating materials. The IR blocking filter is integrated directly on-chip and localized only to the color sensor photodiodes. High-accuracy color sensing requires eliminating errors caused by the IR spectral component in light sources. The on-chip IR blocking filter minimizes these effects, eliminates requirements for external IR filtering, and enables the devices to perform ambient light sensing (ALS). ALS instruments are commonly used in display-based devices such as smartphones, tablets, high-definition TVs, notebooks/desktop PCs and monitors to enable automatic backlight brightness control based on lighting conditions for optimum viewing and energy conservation.


The TCS3x71 and TCS3x72 series provide cost-effective and low-power solutions for color measurement, discrimination and determination in applications such as color adjustment in printers, industrial process quality control, portable medical diagnostic systems, paper and product handling, toys and games. For color sensing in closed environments with no IR light sources, the TCS3x71’s applications include closed-loop color temperature feedback control in solid-state lighting and LED RGB backlit displays.

Proximity detection is suited for touch-screen smartphones for turning off the touch screen automatically when the phone senses it is close to the user’s head during a call. Proximity detection has applications in user or object presence detection in display-based products such as notebook and desktop computers, tablets, TVs and monitors; in industrial process controls, in consumer electronics and in home appliances. An emerging application for proximity detection is sensing a finger to create a “virtual button” as a replacement for a mechanical or capacitive touch switch, with improved reliability, industrial design and space requirements.

The color sensors improve accuracy by minimizing IR light source errors while measuring light intensity and color as the human eye sees it, without the need for an external filter.

Combined color and proximity sensing has applications in organic LED-based smartphones for determining the color temperature of the ambient light to provide the optimum display picture quality and to provide touch-screen control. These devices can also be used to create smarter products, such as household appliances, that sense color and user presence. TVs and other display-based products benefit from all three capabilities in these devices: ambient light sensing for automatic backlight control; proximity detection as a virtual button or viewer detection; and external color temperature sensing to adjust the gamma table used to display content for optimum picture quality.

The sensors are pin- and register-compatible, enabling simple design options and minimizing software development. The company provides software that optimizes the TCS3x72 series’ ALS accuracy and enables light color temperature sensing. It also provides evaluation modules and software driver support.


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