Vishay solution is out of sight

A new miniature reflective optical sensor capable of operating in bright sunlight was announced today by Vishay Intertechnology.

The TCND3000 surface-mount optical sensor is said to integrate touch and proximity functions and operates in conjunction with an integrated circuit (E909.01) built on ELMOS Semiconductor’s HALIOS (High Ambient Light Independent Optical System) technology to provide reliable operation in very bright sunlight up to 200 kLux.

Offering designers a low-cost alternative to mechanical switches, the TCND3000 series device enables improvements in the design and functionality of electronic systems such as mobile phones, automotive systems, home appliances, and cameras. Highly integrated, the device combines an IR emitter as the source for the touch/proximity signal, another for compensation for ambient light, and a photo diode as the receiver for the touch/proximity signal.

Working with the new electrical signal evaluation system provided by the ELMOS E909.01 IC, the TCND3000 solution allows contact-free detection of movement through a translucent surface, enabling proximity detection at a distance of 2 cm and touch detection at a distance at a distance of 1 cm from the sensor surface.

As a result, the sensor may be contained within a clear protective or decorative casing without loss of sensitivity. The self-adjusting system compensates for environmental disturbances such as ambient light, ageing of optical components, and surface impurities or scratches. The performance of touch/proximity systems is highly dependent on the precise positioning of the optical components to achieve reliable performance, and the superior design of the TCND3000 meets this requirement.

TCND3000 sensors measure 5 mm by 2.6 mm with a height of 3 mm. These RoHS (restriction of hazardous substances)-compliant devices are available in a lead-free, surface-mount-style package constructed on PCB mould technology.

Each features a 5 V operating voltage, a +/-20 degrees angle of half-sensitivity, an 870 nm operating wavelength, and an operating temperature range of 40 degrees C to +85 degrees C. Devices in the new series are designed for IR reflow soldering with a peak temperature of 260 degrees C and are suitable for lead-free solder processes.

Samples and production quantities of the new TCND3000 optical sensor are available now with lead times of eight to 12 weeks for larger orders.

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