Ambient light sensor offers long-distance proximity detection

27th September 2016
Source: Vishay
Posted By : Anna Flockett
Ambient light sensor offers long-distance proximity detection

A high-sensitivity proximity and ambient light sensor with long-distance proximity detection up to 1m has been introduced by optoelectronics group- Vishay Intertechnology. Featuring Filtron technology in a compact 8x3x1.8mm surface-mount package, the Vishay Semiconductors 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.

Offering a fivefold 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 where and how 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 that allow the sensor to wake up an application from a low-power mode, reducing the overall power consumption of an application. 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's built-in ambient light photo diode offers detection from 0.01lx to 5.2klx, 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 to 85°C. The VCNL4100's 8-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 940nm and has no visible ‘red-tail’.

The device offers a supply voltage range of 2.5-3.6V and I²C bus voltage range from 1.8-3.6V. Samples and production quantities of the new VCNL4100 are available now.

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