Murata announced what it believes to be the world’s smallest combined proximity and illuminance sensor. The surface mounted LT-1PA01 device measures just 3.05 × 2.10 × 1.10
mm and integrates both an optical proximity sensor and an illuminance sensor. The proximity sensor uses a photoreceptor to measure the distance to an object based on the amount of returned light. Another photoreceptor is used to detect the amount of ambient brightness. Such sensors are widely used in smartphones to darken the screen when the phone is near the user’s face during a call or to increase the brightness of the screen’s backlight when used outdoor.
The device has an extremely low power profile, consuming only 80 uA during proximity sensing. Illuminance sensing angle is ±45 degrees at 50% and sensing distance is up to 70 mm with gray card. Operating voltage is +3.3 VDC. Communication with the host processor is via I2C serial communications.
Mass production is scheduled to begin in May 2014.