XYZ Tri-stimulus Sensor Accurately Emulates Human Eye

The miniature TCS3430 sensor IC from ams uses advanced optical filter technology to produce

illuminance and CCT measurements that closely match the response of the human eye

It is described as the first XYZ tri-stimulus True Color sensor IC to be offered with a small footprint suitable for consumer devices such as notebooks, smartphones and tablets.


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Providing digital measurements of illuminance (brightness) and chromaticity matching the CIE 1931 “Standard Observer” XYZ scale enabling True Color functionalities – which is the industry standard for quantifying the average human’s perception of light – the miniature TCS3430 may be used for functions such as display management, automatic white color balancing or color management.


OEMs moving from RGB color sensors to the TCS3430 will be able to achieve dramatic improvements in camera and display performance, such as:

  • Adapting the display color and brightness towards warm or cool white, based on the Correlated Color Temperature (CCT) level of the environment
  • High quality display calibration to provide color balancing and vivid images based on the source input
  • More realistic images and almost zero color distortion from the camera, rivaling the color balancing performance of professional-grade photography equipment


The TCS3430 benefits from proprietary ams technology for fabricating interferometric optical filters directly on the wafer. The ams interferometric filters can be made with the spectral characteristics of the XYZ spectral responsivity model of the human eye. In the TCS3430, the filters provide five channels: X, Y and Z channels and two infrared channels. The IR channels are used for advanced light source detection. The Y channel’s response to the green portion of the visible light spectrum provides a measure of illuminance, enabling the TCS3430 to operate as an ambient light sensor as well as a color sensor.


The TCS3430 is supplied as a packaged IC measuring 2.41mm x 1.75mm x 1.00mm. The aperture of the sensor needs to be covered by an achromatic diffuser. The TCS3430’s high sensitivity and wide dynamic range mean that it can be mounted behind dark or transparent cover glass. It operates from a 1.8V supply, and provides an I2C interface to a host processor.


The TCS3430 is available for sampling. Unit pricing is $1.59 in an order quantity of 1,000 units. In addition, an evaluation kit for the TCS3430 is available. Learn much more with a visit to the TCS3430 product page.