Color Sensor from ams OSRAM enables perfect color rendition

New TCS3530 is an ultra-sensitive color sensor that matches the response of the human eye to visible light

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ams OSRAM has launched the TCS3530, its leading-edge color sensor which enables a smartphone camera to achieve near-perfect color rendition in any lighting conditions, and helps displays to produce a more natural picture quality.

The TCS3530 also features a new fully integrated optical assembly that makes production operations simpler for smartphone, camera and display manufacturers.

Darrell Benke, Director of Product Management for Integrated Optical Sensors at ams OSRAM, said ‘Camera performance is a primary differentiator in the smartphone market, and the TCS3530 now gives cameras the ability to reproduce the colors that the user sees, no matter how difficult the lighting conditions are. The sensor’s performance is exceptional, it’s like having a professional photographer’s colorimeter embedded in a smartphone.’

The TCS3530 color sensor produces an XYZ tri-stimulus response, which means that its three- channel output closely matches the response of the average human eye’s three sets of color- sensitive light receptors. It is the most sensitive XYZ color sensor that ams OSRAM has ever created, producing accurate measurements of chromaticity and illuminance in all conditions, from bright sunlight to near darkness.

The sensor’s XYZ light measurements are converted in the chip to chromaticity coordinates precisely located in CiE color space.

This enables ultra-accurate automatic white balancing in cameras, resulting in natural rendition of object colors in all conditions including:

  • Images captured under distorting light sources, such as fluorescent lamps or LEDs
  • Images dominated by large blocks of non-white color

The TCS3530 in displays, monitors and televisions enables superior color management in all ambient lighting conditions – algorithms can use the sensor’s outputs to adjust the display’s whitepoint to match the ambient light whitepoint, resulting in more accurate and pleasing color rendering and perceived picture quality.

Integrated diffuser improves performance, saves space, and reduces design complexity

The high performance of the TCS3530 color sensor results from a series of ams OSRAM innovations in optical chip technology and packaging. These include a new 8-channel configuration consisting of the XYZ channels, an infrared channel, and four reference channels. The TCS3530 also includes a new high-speed flicker detection capability up to 7 kHz, to enable the elimination of interference from flickering AC mains-driven lights and LEDs during image and video capture.

The TCS3530’s new optical assembly includes a built-in diffuser. This eliminates the need for the end-product manufacturer to design and build their optical assembly with an external diffuser. This greatly simplifies the optical design effort and manufacturing. The TCS3530’s assembly has a precisely engineered distance between sensor and aperture and benefits from exact diffuser placement. Combined with 100% end-of-line calibration, the TCS3530’s integrated architecture produces extremely consistent optical performance from one unit to the next. It also relieves manufacturers of the need to perform expensive and complex sensor system calibration at the factory.

The integrated assembly is also thinner than a discrete arrangement with an external diffuser, enabling smartphone manufacturers to accommodate the color sensor more easily in ultra-compact product designs.