Lighting up time

Agilent Technologies has introduced a new ambient light photo sensor that increases the battery life of portable equipment by eliminating unnecessary backlighting.

The sensor detects the ambient light level and provides a linear proportional output that can be used to adjust the backlighting of an LCD display screen or keypad. If there is sufficient ambient light, designer-provided logic can turn off the backlighting. Because backlighting is only necessary about 40% of the time, the ambient light sensor reduces battery recharges or replacements in portable devices.

Compared with Agilent’s first-generation HSDL-9000 digital-output ambient light sensor, which is supplied in a six-pin plastic lead chip carrier, the new analog-output HSDL-9001 is half the size at 0.6 mm x 2.0 mm x 1.5 mm. It is supplied in a quad-flat no-lead surface mount package.

Because the HSDL-9001 is an analog device, it permits infinite control of the light detection threshold. It features guaranteed performance over the 2.7 V to 3.6 V supply voltage range and the -25 C to +85 C temperature range.

The HSDL-9001 is available now priced at less than $0.36 each in 25,000-unit quantities.