Light Sensor Advances Phone Photo Quality

The TCS3707 color (RGB), proximity and flicker detection sensor from ams is said to enable a mobile phone camera to take clean, unblemished photographs in artificial lighting scenes. Equipped with a TCS3707, a mobile phone’s camera can be used under any conditions including artificial light sources such as fluorescent lights or street lamps, without suffering from banding or other image artefacts generated by the invisible flickering of AC powered lighting.


The device’s RGB, Clear, Wideband channels enable accurate measurements of the color and intensity of ambient light across a wide range of lighting conditions. This enables mobile phone makers to deploy sophisticated display brightness and color management schemes, and to implement camera and flash color balancing.

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The device’s flicker detection engine can detect the flickering of any artificial light source operating from 50 Hz or 60 Hz alternating current cycles. Flicker produces banding and other artefacts in pictures taken by an image sensor with a rolling shutter. The effect is produced when the flickering light turns on or off while the shutter is in operation. The TCS3707’s flicker detection capability allows the camera controller to synchronize the shutter with the ‘On’ part of the AC cycle. The sensor can also supply flicker measurements to the mobile phone’s applications processor to support flicker cancellation firmware at frequencies other than 50/60Hz by using the internal FIFO on the device.


The TCS3707 is supplied in a 2 mm x 2.5 mm x 0.5 mm OQFN package. Pricing is $1.15 each/1,000. For more details and specs, take a gander at the TCS3707 datasheet.

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