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Vishay VCSEL-based sensor saves space

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Tiny device features sensing distance to 15 mm and low power consumption

Vishay Intertechnology has introduced a new reflective optical sensor for industrial, computer, consumer, and mobility applications.

Saving space compared to previous-generation solutions — while delivering improved performance with a higher current transfer ratio (CTR), increased sensing distance, and lower power consumption — the VCNT2030 features a VCSEL and a silicon phototransistor in a miniature 1.85 mm by 1.2 mm by 0.6 mm surface-mount package.

The device is built with the emitting light source and detector arranged in the same plane. It is said to offer excellent internal crosstalk suppression due to the VCSEL’s narrow ± 17° emission angle, which also enables improved proximity performance behind cover glass. The VCNT2030’s analogue output signal at the phototransistor is dependent on the amount of light emitted by the VCSEL and reflected off an object in the sensor’s field of view. The device offers a sensing distance of 15 mm, which is three times higher than the closest competing device on the market.

According to Vishay, the VCNT2030 saves more than 40 percent PCB space compared to previous-generation devices, allowing the sensor to serve as a space-saving solution for optical switching in industrial infrastructure, home and building controls, notebook and desktop computers, home appliances, consumer electronics, and metering applications; optical encoding for motor control in e-bikes, golf carts, tractors, and harvesters; and paper presence detection in printers and scanners. In these applications the low 8 mA driving current of the device’s VCSEL is enough to achieve the same performance as solutions using 20 mA infrared emitters, lowering power consumption.

The sensor offers a detection range of 0.3 mm to 6 mm, an emitter wavelength of 940 nm, and a typical output current of 2.5 mA, which represents a typical CTR of 31 percent under test conditions. This value is > 100 percent higher than previous-generation solutions and the closest competing sensor, according to the company.

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