Light/digital IC provides optical power measurements – in distribution

September 07, 2016 // By Graham Prophet
Distributor Mouser Electronics has Texas Instruments’ OPT3002 light-to-digital sensor; the device promises improved system performance over standard photodiodes and photoresistors. The fully-integrated OPT3002 delivers the functionality of an optical power meter all within a single small device.

Offering a wide spectral bandwidth, flexible and automated light measuring over a 23-bit effective dynamic range, and a simplified software and set-up configuration, this low-power optical sensor is sutied for use in optical spectral systems that require detection of a variety of wavelengths, such as optically-based diagnostic systems, or even as a low-power, battery-operated wake-up sensor.


The device is an ambient light sensor (ALS) with a digital output integrated circuit. It features a wide spectral bandwidth that measures light within the spectral range 300 nm to 1,000 nm. Using the device’s built-in, full-scale setting feature, the OPT3002 can take light measurements from 1.2 nW/cm ² up to 10 mW/cm ² without the need to manually select the full-scale ranges. This provides light measurements over a 23-bit effective dynamic range, with results compensated for dark-current effects and other temperature variations.


The OPT3002 captures measurements in either a continuous or single-shot fashion. The optical sensor measures the ambient light and reports the optical power readings directly from its two-wire, I ²C- and SMBus-compatible serial interface. The interrupt pin system can also summarize measurement results with one digital pin. With fully-operational power consumption as low as 0.8 μW at 0.8 SPS on a 1.8V supply, the sensor can be incorporated into low-power, sensor-based applications, including security detection systems, system wake-up circuits, medical and scientific instrumentation, lighting controls, tablet and notebook computers and home automation. It comes in

a 6-USON package that measures 2.0 × 2.0 × 0.65 mm. To evaluate the OPT3002 under various conditions, the device is also supported by the OPT3002EVM ambient light sensor evaluation module. The OPT3002EVM features a small form factor module based on two PCBs (a data acquisition board and test board), includes intuitive GUI software, and is designed with 0.1-in.-spaced test points for easy experimentation with external controllers.