Offers a range up to 20 cm in a 3.05 x 2-mm leadless package for battery-operated devices

By Heather Hamilton,
contributing writer

Vishay Intertechnology, Inc. has unveiled a fully integrated
proximity sensor that packs a high-power vertical-cavity surface emitting laser
(VCSEL), a photodiode, a signal processing IC, and a 12-bit ADC in a 3.05 x
2-mm leadless package with a low profile of 1 mm. The VCSEL-based  VCNL36687S
targets smartphones, tablets, augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR)
headsets, and other battery-operated and space-constrained devices.

The VCNL36687S offers a range of 20 cm (7.9
inches), “simplifying the use and design-in of the proximity sensing capability
in consumer and industrial applications because no mechanical barriers are
required to optically isolate the emitter from the detector,” said Vishay.


Vishay identifies mobile devices as a key
application for the proximity sensor where it can minimize accidental touch
inputs that can lead to dropped calls and accidental camera launch or detect
when a user wears a VR/AR headset. In addition, the VCNL36687S is suitable for
applications that need narrow angle detection thanks to the VCSEL’s profile of
+/- 3°.

The VCNL36687S requires less energy for
identical functionality compared to previous generation products. With a 20-mA
pulse current the device can detect a Kodak Gray Card at a distance of 20 cm,
compared to previous devices that required 200 mA of current.

The sensor comes standard with a I2C bus
serial digital interface, allowing for simple access to the proximity signal.
With a programmable interrupt function, the VCNL36687S offers wake-up functionality
for the microcontroller in the event of a proximity change, which eliminates
the need for continuous polling and reduces overhead processing.

Available in sample and production quantities,
the VCNL36687S is priced at $0.90 each in quantities of 5,000 for U.S.
delivery. Lead time is eight to 12 weeks.