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Wide-temp optical sensors geared for automotive apps

Posted: 07 Aug 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:optical sensor? automotive? transmissive sensor?

TCPT1300X01 optical sensor

Vishay Intertechnology Inc. has extended the temperature range of its AEC-Q101-qualified TCPT1300X01 and TCUT1300X01 surface-mount transmissive (interrupter) optical sensors for the automotive market. The sensors are the claimed to be the first to feature a junction temperature rating of + 145C, an operating temperature range of -40C to + 125C, and a Moisture Sensitivity Level rating of 1 (MSL1).

The wide temperature range of the TCPT1300X01 and TCUT1300X01 enables them to work in low- and high-temperature environments. With a 3mm gap width, the sensors can be used with a wide variety of materials and allow for looser mechanical tolerances than sensors with smaller gaps, making them suitable for automotive and industrial applications.

Transmissive sensors are also known as interrupter sensors. They contain IR emitter and detector that are mounted facing each other and are separated by a small gap. An object such as an encoding wheel passes through the gap between the emitter and detector and interrupts the light, allowing the sensor to detect the presence or absence of an object. A common automotive switch application is gear shift position detection.

The TCPT1300X01 is a single-channel transmissive sensor with an aperture of 0.3mm and a gap of 3mm. The TCUT1300X01 is a dual-channel transmissive sensor with two apertures (two detectors) of 0.3mm and a gap of 3mm. Both sensors have a phototransistor output and operate at a wavelength of 950nm.

The TCPT1300X01 and TCUT1300X01 can be used with an encoding wheel to sense rotary position and velocity, or with a linear code strip to sense linear position and velocity. With dual channels, the TCUT1300X01 can also be used to detect direction and is commonly used for steering wheel optical encoding. For example, en electronic stability control system relies on the critical output of speed, position, and direction of the steering wheel, as determined by the encoder, to help drivers on icy or wet roads. In electric power steering, the transmissive sensor plays a role in providing steering wheel speed, position, and direction as inputs to a larger system using an assist motor to replace the traditional hydraulic power steering pump.

The MSL-1 rating of the TCPT1300X01 and TCUT1300X01 is important for automotive and industrial manufacturers. Typical optical devices, like visible LEDs, have an MSL4 rating and must be assembled within 72 hours of opening the reel packaging. If not used in 72 hours, the component will absorb moisture and require baking for up to 96 hours to drive that moisture out. With an MSL1 rating, the TCPT1300X01 and TCUT1300X01 have an unlimited floor life that eliminates the need for special handling by the customer.

The TCPT1300X01 and TCUT1300X01 are Pb-free in accordance with RoHS 2002/95/EC and WEEE 2002/96/EC, free of halogens and compatible with Pb-free soldering.

Samples and production quantities of the enhanced sensors are available now, with lead times of four weeks for larger orders.

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