The demand for UV detection in consumer electronics is growing, challenging researchers industrywide to create a compact, efficient and accurate sensor. Silicon Labs has done just that. The company’s new Si1132 and Si114x models are the industry’s first single-chip digital UV index sensor ICs, and are designed to track UV sun exposure, heart and pulse rate, and blood oximetry, and provide proximity and gesture control for smartphones and wearable computing products. These optical sensors are for use with activity-tracking wrist and armbands, smart watches and smartphone handsets. In addition to enabling UV index sensing, the devices provide ambient light and IR proximity-sensing capabilities for health and fitness applications. UV tracking is helpful for those with elevated risk of sunburn or with concerns about excessive sun exposure. Silicon Labs has developed the first single-chip digital UV index sensor. Courtesy Silicon Labs. UV sensor-equipped products can measure cumulative UV exposure and alert users before unhealthy exposure levels have been reached. “Wearable designs require highly integrated, small-footprint and low-power sensing solutions,” said Mark Thompson, vice president and general manager of Silicon Labs’ access, power and sensor products. Silicon Labs’ UV index sensors tout ultralow-power architecture that enables thinner wearable designs with smaller batteries and extended battery life. They also offer greater sensitivity and sensing range at significantly lower power levels. Their ability to measure both IR and visible light levels enhances the control of LCD backlighting in mixed-light source environments. Conventional UV sensors combine UV-sensitive photodiodes with an external microcontroller, analog-to-digital converter and signal processing firmware. The new sensors are the first to combine all of this functionality into a single chip. For more information, visit www.silabs.com.