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Proximity and Ambient Light Sensor Detects to One Meter

04 October 2016

The Optoelectronics group of Vishay Intertechnology, Inc. has introduced a high-sensitivity proximity and ambient light sensor with long-distance proximity detection to one meter. Featuring Filtron technology in a compact 8 mm x 3 mm x 1.8 mm surface-mount package, the VCNL4100 combines a high-power IR emitter, photo detectors for proximity and ambient light, a signal processing IC, and an 8-bit/16-bit ADC. The three-in-one sensor features an interrupt function and supports I²C bus communication interface for Smart home, industrial and office applications.

VCNL4100 proximity and ambient light sensor. Source: Vishay  VCNL4100 proximity and ambient light sensor. Source: Vishay Offering a five-fold increase in proximity detection over previous-generation devices, the VCNL4100 provides presence detection for display activation in printers, copiers and home appliances; collision avoidance in toys and robots; lighting control in offices, corridors and public buildings; lavatory appliance activation; and vehicle occupancy detection in parking lots. Containing the circuitry needed for these applications in one device, the sensor eliminates the need for additional light barriers and optical alignment of the IR emitter and photo diode. The device’s small outline saves space and gives design engineers greater flexibility in how and where they locate the sensor.

The ambient light and proximity sensors of the VCNL4100 operate in a parallel structure, and each offers a programmable interrupt function with high and low thresholds to lower power consumption. The device’s Filtron technology enables ambient light spectral sensitivity close to that of the human eye while offering excellent background light cancellation capabilities.

The VCNL4100 sensor's built-in ambient light photo diode offers detection from 0.01 lx to 5.2 klx, allowing the device to operate in applications with dark or high-transparency lens designs. The 16-bit sensor offers fluorescent light flicker immunity and excellent temperature compensation from –40° C to +85° C. The eight-bit proximity sensor uses intelligent cancellation to eliminate cross-talk, while a smart persistence scheme ensures accurate sensing and faster response time. The emitter wavelength peaks at 940 nm and has no visible “red-tail.”

The device offers a supply voltage range of 2.5 V to 3.6 V, and an I²C bus voltage range from 1.8 V to 3.6 V. It comes in a lead-free, 10-pin molded package and is RoHS-compliant and halogen-free.

Samples and production quantities of the VCNL4100 are available now, with lead times of eight to 12 weeks for large orders.

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