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Avago's optical encoders tout smallest package

Posted: 23 May 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:AEDR-8400? optical encoder? Avago? Gina Roos?

Avago Technologies claims to introduce the industry's smallest reflective incremental optical encoder. Available in a surface-mount, lead-free package, the AEDR-8400 encoder measures 3-by-3.28-by-1.262-mm.

In addition to its small package size, the AEDR-8400 encoder features up to 254 lines per inch (LPI) resolution, low power consumption of 12mA (including 6mA LED current) and a wide operating temperature range of -20C to 85C. These devices may be used in consumer, office, industrial and automotive interior applications including scanners, printers, miniature cameras, as well as seat adjustment and rear view mirror controls in automobiles.

The AEDR-8400 is smaller than the Avago AEDR-83xx optical encoders, which up to now were the industry's smallest, according to the company. The AEDR-8400 provides two-channel quadrature output and a count frequency up to 15kHz. The encoder operates from a single 2.8V (nominal) supply. The lead-free packaging complies with the European Union's RoHS directive.

The AEDR-8400 series consists of a LED light source, a special photodetector IC with integrated electronics and integrated optics. The optical encoders can be used with a reflective code wheel to sense rotary position and velocity, or with a linear code strip to sense linear position and velocity, said the company. In addition, the devices are said to maintain performance and accuracy over a wide variation in the gap between sensor and code wheel or strip.

Compared with magnetic encoders, Avago said its reflective optical encoders offer higher resolution (magnetic encoders are typically limited to approximately 150 LPI raw resolution), and in motor control applications the magnetic encoder's lower resolution can cause torque ripple that increases motor vibration. Magnetic sensors also generate magnetic fields, which may call for magnetic shielding to prevent interference with nearby components.

The AEDR-8400 reflective optical encoder is priced at $3.50 each in quantities of 50,000.

- Gina Roos

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