Infared LED enables smartphone remote control

8th April 2014
Posted By : Staff Reporter
Infared LED enables smartphone remote control

Enabling remote control functionality to be incorporated in a lower profile, a flush-mountable infrared LED has been unveiled by Osram Opto Semiconductors. The side-looking T-shaped Midled SFH 4140 offers impressive high radiant intensity and protrudes only a fraction of a millimeter from the PC board. Now an infrared transmitter can be integrated into extra-thin smartphones or tablet computers.

For the first time, Osram Opto Semiconductors has succeeded in sinking a surface-mountable infrared LED in a PC board. "We want to enable our customers to install a powerful infrared transmitter even if there is very little height to work with," explained Sevugan Nagappan, product marketing manager for infrared at Osram Opto Semiconductors. "We have developed a transmitter that disappears almost entirely into the board, with only 0.6 mm extending above and below it. That saves plenty of space."

High output from an extremely small space

The T-shaped transmitter takes up only 4.6 mm2 of board space and emits a powerful focused beam to the side. The beam angle of +/-25 degrees is created by an integrated reflector – a real plus in terms of space requirements. The SFH 4140 produces an impressive 50 milliwatts per steradian (mW/sr) of typical radiant intensity from 100 mA drive current, so it achieves the ranges needed for remote control functions. Its wavelength of 940 nanometers is also perfect for meeting the requirements of this application.

Smartphones and tablet computers as remote controls

This component is Osram Opto Semiconductors' contribution to the trend of turning smartphones and tablet computers into universal remote controls, particularly for home entertainment devices.  If the device is equipped with the appropriate infrared transmitter diode, then the diode can be controlled with a suitable app. Whereas classic remote controls traditionally use radial infrared LEDs, this option is viable for slim smartphones and tablets. These devices require a low-profile SMT solution that can also operate over the required distance. Up to now, manufacturers have been using transmitters such as Osram’s Midled, Mini Midled and Chipled. The powerful T-Midled SFH 4140 is Osram Opto Semiconductors' latest addition to its portfolio of remote control transmitters, a no-compromise, low-profile solution for which there will virtually always be sufficient space. 

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