Contactless Switching Made Dirt Robust with New Light Sensor


Melexis announces the launch of the MLX75303 Optical Switch SensorEyeC. This is the first member of the new SensorEyeC series of optical sensors specifically designed for high volume automotive, industrial and consumer applications. The name “SensorEyeC” refers to “sensor eye” as well as to “sensor IC”.This MLX75303 is an integrated sensor IC, which means that the photodiode, transimpedance amplifier and the Schmitt Trigger voltage output stage are all included in the sensor chip. This guarantees stable light responsivity over time and over temperature, and also drastically improves noise behavior when compared to designs that use discrete photodiodes. It simplifies application design, requires less external components and improves quality.Dirt Robust In everyday environments like cars, production plants and homes, dirt and dust build-up on light sensitive sensors presents unique performance challenges. To overcome dirt build-up in light switching functions, brighter LED light can be used to penetrate the dust and dirt if the sensor allows this. Now, the new Melexis sensor is specially designed to continue functioning at high speed (10µs typical/20µs max. response time) while being oversaturated by a strong light source up to 1000x the sensor’s switch-on threshold level.SensorEyeC series In the coming months, the optical SensorEyeC series will be completed by a light-to-voltage SensorEyeC and a light-to-frequency SensorEyeC,” says Sam Maddalena, Business Unit Manager Opto Sensors. Maddalena continues, “This development was triggered by our customers with a need for high-quality, low-cost automotive qualified components. We also received numerous requests from non-automotive customers who are attracted by the low PPM, high lifetime and temperature independency of the sensor’s behavior.The MLX75303 can be used in applications with near infrared light or with ambient light where, for instance, day/night detection is required. Its unique features include Dirt tolerance: The sensor is designed to maintain its speed, even after exposure to light 1000 times greater than its switching level. This is accomplished by using increased light levels, so that sufficient light penetrates even after dirt builds-up on the sensor. Light responsivity that is relatively independent of temperature Small DFN open cavity package: 3mm x 3mm x 0.65mm (also available in SO8 package) Very high positional accuracy; optical sensors must maintain alignment between the light source and the sensor. The small, symmetrical DFN package provides pin-to-photodiode accuracy better than ±85µm. ?Additionally, the photodiode area is relatively large (600µm x 600µm) and thus tolerant to mechanical misalignment.Extended operating temperature range of -40°C to +125°C that meets AEC-Q100 automotive specifications. A consumer version up to +85°C is available also. Solder reflow 260°C compatible.Applications Automotive application examples include contactless steering stocks, buttons and position switches, steering angle measurement, day/night detection for headlight control and hand detection systems in door handles.Office automation applications include paper presence and paper orientation detection in printers, copiers and multi-functional devices.Consumer applications include object detection, like cup detection in coffee machines, range detection, like staircase detection for robot vacuum cleaners, hand detection for water taps and hand dryers, twilight detection for window blinds, sun screens and roof windows. Industrial applications include object detection and infrared safety screens.
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