News Column

Patent Application Titled "Illuminance and Proximity Sensor" Published Online

June 5, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Politics & Government Week -- According to news reporting originating from Washington, D.C., by VerticalNews journalists, a patent application by the inventor PARK, So Eun (Seoul, KR), filed on February 12, 2013, was made available online on May 22, 2014.

No assignee for this patent application has been made.

Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Embodiments relate to an illuminance and proximity sensor that senses an illuminance and a proximity of an object.

"An image sensor is a semiconductor device for converting an optical image into an electric signal. Among the types of image sensors, there are a CCD (Charge Coupled Device) type image sensor and a CMOS (Complementary Metal-Oxide-Silicon) type image sensor.

"The image sensor may be incorporated into an apparatus having a camera mounted thereto, for example, a mobile phone, and the like. In general, such apparatus is provided not only with the image sensor, but also a proximity sensor for measuring a distance from the apparatus to a subject, and an illuminance sensor for measuring the illuminance or illuminance level of the external light.

"For example, power consumption of a backlight unit in the mobile phone is adjusted, and/or activation of a touch sensor in the mobile phone is determined, according to the proximity measured by the proximity sensor. This can prevent the mobile phone from malfunctioning. And, the power consumption of the mobile phone can be reduced by adjusting the brightness of the display in the mobile phone according to the brightness of the external light, as measured by the illuminance sensor.

"In general, since the illuminance sensor requires an IR cutoff filter to remove infrared rays, and the proximity sensor requires an IR pass filter that passes only infrared rays, it is not easy to include or integrate illuminance sensing and proximity sensing into or onto a single chip."

In addition to obtaining background information on this patent application, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent application: "Accordingly, the present invention is directed to an illuminance and proximity sensor.

"An object of the present invention is to provide an illuminance and proximity sensor which can be embodied into or integrated onto one chip, and can reduce the chip size and production cost to enhance price competitiveness.

"Additional advantages, objects, and features of the disclosure will be set forth in part in the description which follows and in part will become apparent to those having ordinary skill in the art upon examination of the following or may be learned from practice of the invention. The objectives and other advantages of the invention may be realized and attained by the structure particularly pointed out in the written description and claims hereof as well as the appended drawings.

"To achieve these objects and other advantages and in accordance with the purpose(s) of the invention, as embodied and broadly described herein, an illuminance and proximity sensor can include a first sensing unit that senses infrared rays or light and a green color light, and forwards a first sensing signal corresponding to a result of the sensing (e.g., the sensed infrared rays or light and green light), a second sensing unit that cuts off or filters visible light, senses the infrared rays or light, and forwards a second sensing signal corresponding to a result of the sensing (e.g., the sensed visible light and infrared rays or light), and a control unit that produces an illuminance by using (e.g., from) a first difference value which is a result of subtracting the second sensing signal from the first sensing signal, and produces a proximity by using (e.g., from) a second difference value which is a result of subtracting the first difference value from the second sensing signal.

"The first sensing unit may include a first lens, a first filter under the first lens that passes the green light and the infrared rays only, a first pixel under the first filter that senses the green light passing through the first filter, and a first infrared pixel under the first pixel that senses the infrared rays passing through the first filter.

"The second sensing unit may include a second lens, a second filter under the second lens that cuts off or filters the visible light and passes the infrared rays, and a second infrared pixel under the second filter that senses the infrared ray passing through the second filter.

"The second filter may have a structure comprising a red color filter on a blue color filter (e.g., in a stack).

"The illuminance and proximity sensor may further include a second pixel between the second filter and the second infrared pixel.

"Advantageous Effects

"The present invention permits integrating the illuminance and proximity sensors into or onto one chip, and reduces the chip size and production cost to enhance price competitiveness.

"It is to be understood that both the foregoing general description and the following detailed description of the present invention are exemplary and explanatory and are intended to provide further explanation of the invention as claimed.


"The accompanying drawings, which are included to provide a further understanding of the disclosure and are incorporated in and constitute a part of this application, illustrate embodiment(s) of the disclosure and together with the description serve to explain the principle(s) of the disclosure. In the drawings:

"FIG. 1 is a block diagram of an illuminance and proximity sensor in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.

"FIG. 2 is a diagram of an exemplary structure of the first and second sensing units in FIG. 1.

"FIG. 3 is a graph showing an absorption ratio spectrum as a function of wavelength.

"FIG. 4 is a block diagram of an exemplary image sensor in accordance with another embodiment.

"FIG. 5 is a diagram of exemplary structures of the sensing units in the image sensor of FIG. 4."

For more information, see this patent application: PARK, So Eun. Illuminance and Proximity Sensor. Filed February 12, 2013 and posted May 22, 2014. Patent URL:

Keywords for this news article include: Patents.

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Source: Politics & Government Week

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