Multi-channel spectral sensor from ams

ams has launched a miniature spectral sensor chip that brings laboratory-grade multi-channel colour analysis capability to portable and mobile devices.

According to ams, in end products such as mobile phones or accessories, the AS7341 produces more precise spectral measurements in a wider range of lighting conditions than competing sensors. It adds that the small dimensions also mean it’s easier to accommodate it in mobile phones and other portable devices.

“The AS7341 marks a breakthrough in the category of spectral sensors in a small package suitable for mounting in a mobile phone or consumer device. It is the smallest such device to offer 11 measurement channels, and also offers higher light sensitivity than any other multi-channel spectral sensor aimed at the consumer market,” says Kevin Jensen, Senior Marketing Manager in the Optical Sensors business line at ams.

The chip’s accurate spectral measurements enable what ams says is “superior” automatic white balancing, more reliable light source identification and integrated flicker detection, providing users with improved performance in mobile phone cameras.

The technology is also designed to more accurately reproduce colours and minimise distortion of ambient light sources, resulting in sharper, clearer and more true-to-colour photographs. The AS7341 also will enable consumers to use their mobile devices to match the colours of objects such as fabrics through using colour references like the PANTONE Color System.

The power of the AS7341 to upgrade colour measurement performance is demonstrated by the introduction of the Spectro 1 portable colorimeter from Variable, adds ams. In the Spectro 1, Variable has used the AS7341 to provide professional colour measurement for solid colours at a consumer price point. The product provides repeatable spectral curve data in 10nm increments across the visible light spectrum from 400nm to 700nm – a capability previously only available in professional spectrophotometers costing more than ten times as much as the portable Spectro 1, says ams.

The AS7341 is a complete spectral sensing system housed in a tiny 3.1mm x 2.0mm x 1.0mm LGA package with aperture. It is an 11-channel device which provides accurate and precise characterisations of the spectral content of a directly measured light source, or of a reflective surface. Eight of the channels cover eight equally spaced portions of the visible light spectrum. The device also features a near infrared channel, a clear channel, and a channel dedicated to the detection of typical ambient light flicker at a frequency of 50Hz up to 1kHz.

Beside camera image optimisation, the AS7341 spectral sensor also supports various applications, such general colour measurement of materials or fluids, skin tone measurement, and others.

An evaluation board for the AS7341 spectral sensor is available. For sample requests or for more technical information, visit the ams website.

Author
Bethan Grylls