Compact ambient light and proximity sensor detects presence as far as a meter

Credit: Vishay Intertechnology

Vishay Intertechnology, through its Optoelectronics group, announces a new product: the VCNL4100. Powered by Filtron™ technology, this highly sensitive proximity and ambient light sensor can detect as far as 1 meter in a 8 mm x 3 mm x 1.8 mm surface-mount package.

The VCNL4100 features photo detectors, IR emitter as well as signal processing, interrupt handling and analog to digital conversion in one component. It also supports I²C bus communication interface for diverse applications whether at home, industry, or office.

The number of uses for this advanced proximity and ambient light sensor is only limited by one’s imagination. Home appliances as well as printers and copiers could use this component to activate their displays when a person is nearby. Toys and robots may also use the VCNL4100 for avoiding obstacles. Lights in the corridors, offices and rooms can be controlled only by the presence of the person. Sinks may turn-on when someone places his or her hand underneath it. Parking lot administrators can also detect if a vehicle is occupied through the VCNL4100.

The advantage of the VCNL4100 over other proximity sensor is the elimination of additional light barriers and optical alignment of the photodiode and infrared transmitter. The compact size of the component also saves a lot of space and would give designers more freedom as to the placement of the sensor.

The high and low thresholds of the VCNL4100’s programmable interrupt function could lower power consumption. The interrupt function is available on both the parallel-operated ambient light and proximity sensor. The spectral sensitivity of the ambient light sensor is made almost similar to the human eye, thanks to Filtron technology which also gives the sensor its excellent background light cancellation.

It is possible for the VCNL4100 to work with dark or highly transparent lens as its photodiode can readily detect from 0.01 lx to 5.2 lx of illuminance levels. Fluorescent light flicker, crosstalk and red-tail won’t be a concern as they are already addressed by the VCNL4100 cutting-edge design. Another feature is a special persistence scheme employed in the 8-bit proximity sensor for accurate sensing and faster response time. The device could work at a temperature range of -40 °C to +85 °C. The infrared emitter maxes out at a wavelength of 940 nm.

The VCNL4100 can be powered by a power source with a voltage range of 2.5 v to 3.6 v while the I²C bus can safely handle voltages within the 1.8 V to 3.6 V range. The sensor is RoHS-compliant and halogen-free and comes in a lead-free 10-pin molded package. Vishay confirms that samples and production quantities for the sensor are now available. Expect eight to 12 weeks of lead times for bulk orders.

More information can be found at: Vishay Intertechnology Inc.




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