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Rowan Atkinson, the actor who plays the comedic character Mr. Bean, got his degree in electrical engineering.

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TAOS TSL2581_look_B-electronic-base_comTAOS TSL2581 Light-to-Digital Converter is a very high sensitivity light-to-digital converter that transforms light intensity to a digital signal output capable of direct I2C interface. TAOS TSL2581 Light-to-Digital Converter combines one broadband photodiode (visible plus infrared) and one infrared-responding photodiode on a single CMOS integrated circuit capable of providing a near-photopic response over an effective 16-bit dynamic range (16-bit resolution). Two integrating ADCs convert the photodiode currents to a digital output that represents the irradiance measured on each channel.

This digital output can be input to a microprocessor where illuminance (ambient light level) in lux is derived using an empirical formula to approximate the human eye response. The device supports a traditional level style interrupt that remains asserted until the firmware clears it.


While useful for general purpose light sensing applications, the TAOS TSL2581 Light-to-Digital Converter is designed particularly for display panels (LCD, OLED, etc.) with the purpose of extending battery life and providing optimum viewing in diverse lighting conditions. Display panel backlighting, which can account for up to 30 to 40 percent of total platform power, can be automatically managed. This device is also ideal for controlling keyboard illumination based upon ambient lighting conditions. Illuminance information can further be used to manage exposure control in digital cameras. This device is ideal in notebook/tablet PCs, LCD monitors, flat-panel televisions, cell phones, and digital cameras. Other applications include street light control, security lighting, sunlight harvesting, machine vision, and automotive instrumentation clusters.


-Approximates human eye response
-Programmable ALS interrupt function with user-defined
 upper and lower threshold settings
-16-bit digital output with I2C fast-mode at 400kHz
-Programmable analog gain and integration time
 supporting 1,000,000-to-1 dynamic range
-Available in ultra-small 1.25 x 1.75mm chipscale package
-Automatically rejects 50/60-Hz lighting ripple
-Low quiescent current: 3µA in power down mode
-RoHS compliant

-Ambient Light Sensor (ALS) for:
-Smart phones
-Digital photo frames
-Portable navigation systems
-LED signs
-Laptop computers