STMicroelectronics launches multispectral sensor for smartphones

STMicroelectronics has released a full-colour ambient light sensor (ALS) that helps smartphones to take better pictures and present more visually accurate data on screen displays. By simultaneously providing scene colour temperature, ultra-violet (UVA) radiation level, and lighting frequency information, the VD6281 lets the camera correct white balance and enhance the colour presentation. It sets appropriate exposure times for the camera to avoid flicker artefacts and eliminate banding in pictures and videos, especially in scenes lit with contemporary LED sources. “Leveraging the Company’s extensive camera system know-how, ST’s new VD6281 offers customers a state-of-the-art multispectral ambient light sensor. Our roadmap for ALS and flicker sensors is an ideal complement to ST’s market-leading FlightSense Time-of-Flight (ToF) product portfolio. With a growing number of high-quality, high-resolution cameras per phone, our goal is to offer an advanced solution to assist white-balance correction and remove flicker artefacts in smartphone camera images. Mobiles equipped with VD6281 were already released in 2018, and many others will be coming soon,” said  ST’s Imaging Division general manager Eric Aussedat. With its small form factor of 1.83 x 1.0 x 0.55mm, the VD6281 is the smallest multispectral ambient light sensor available, allowing integration in bezel-free smartphones with small notches and inside smartwatches, where a high screen ratio is at a premium. The sensor uses high-performance, direct-deposition filter material to create 6 independent color channels: red, green, blue, near-Infrared, UVA and clear for superior color-sensing capability and cutting-edge CCT (Colour-Correlated Temperature) over a wide field-of-view of 120 degrees, enabling accurate assistance for white-balance algorithms, even in difficult conditions including low contrast scenes, low light levels, or exotic artificial lighting. The VD6281 is in production and available at ST sales channels.