The ams TCS3701 enables front-facing ambient light and proximity sensing of OLED displays for smartphones

By Gina Roos, editor-in-chief

Launched at CES 2019, the new TCS3701 RGB light and IR proximity sensor from ams
can measure the intensity of ambient light from behind a smartphone’s OLED
screen. This maximizes the smartphone display area by eliminating front-facing
bezels where an ambient light/proximity sensor is typically placed, said the


Housed in a 2.0 × 2.5 × 0.5-mm OQFN package, the TCS3701 can be easily
placed behind a smartphone’s OLED screen, enabling designers to mount an IR
emitter in support of the proximity-sensing function in the best front-facing
location, said ams. Proximity-sensing performance is delivered through
cross-talk compensation algorithms.

In addition to helping smartphone makers attain the highest
ratio of display area to body size, the “Behind OLED” ambient light/proximity
sensor also retains touchscreen disablement and automatic display
brightness/color adjustment functions, which require an RGB/infrared light

Thanks to unique algorithms that enable accurate detection of
ambient light levels, the TCS3701 — despite operating behind an emissive OLED
display — senses ambient light passing through the display to light emitted by
the display’s pixels located above the sensor. The device’s ultra-high
sensitivity to light allows for accurate light measurements in all lighting

TCS3701 is sampling now and is priced at $1.25 in quantities of 1,000 units. An
evaluation kit is available.