Vishay Intertechnology VCSEL-Based Reflective Optical Sensor Saves Space

Offered in Compact 1.85 mm by 1.2 mm by 0.6 mm SMD Package, Device Features CTR of 31 %, Sensing Distance to 15 mm, and Lower Power Consumption


The Optoelectronics group of Vishay Intertechnology, Inc. introduced a new reflective optical sensor for industrial, computer, consumer, and mobility applications. Saving space compared to previous-generation solutions — while delivering improved performance with a higher current transfer ratio (CTR), increased sensing distance, and lower power consumption — the Vishay Semiconductors VCNT2030 features a vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) and a silicon phototransistor in a miniature 1.85 mm by 1.2 mm by 0.6 mm surface-mount package.

The device released today features a compact construction in which the emitting light source and detector are arranged in the same plane. It offers excellent internal crosstalk suppression due to the VCSEL’s narrow ± 17° emission angle, which also enables improved proximity performance behind cover glass. The VCNT2030’s analog output signal at the phototransistor is dependent on the amount of light emitted by the VCSEL and reflected off an object in the sensor’s field of view. The device offers a sensing distance of 15 mm, which is three times higher than the closest competing device on the market.

With its compact footprint, the VCNT2030 saves > 40 % PCB space compared to previous-generation devices, allowing the sensor to serve as a space-saving solution for optical switching in industrial infrastructure, home and building controls, notebook and desktop computers, home appliances, consumer electronics, and metering applications; optical encoding for motor control in e-bikes, golf carts, tractors, and harvesters; and paper presence detection in printers and scanners. In these applications the low 8 mA driving current of the device’s VCSEL is enough to achieve the same performance as solutions using 20 mA infrared emitters, dramatically lowering power consumption.

The sensor offers a detection range of 0.3 mm to 6 mm, an emitter wavelength of 940 nm, and a typical output current of 2.5 mA, which represents a typical CTR of 31 % under test conditions. This value is > 100 % higher than previous-generation solutions and the closest competing sensor. The device features a Moisture Sensitivity Level (MSL) of 3 for reflow soldering according to J-STD-020. It is RoHS-compliant, halogen-free, and Vishay Green.

Samples and production quantities of the VCNT2030 are available now, with lead times of eight to 16 weeks.