VCNL4020 Optical Sensor

By Vishay Semiconductor / Opto Division 145

VCNL4020 Optical Sensor

Vishay Semiconductor's announces a fully-integrated proximity and ambient-light optical sensor with the industry's lowest height of 0.8 mm. The VCNL4020 combines an IR emitter, a photo-pin-diode for proximity, an ambient light detector, a signal processing IC, and a 16-bit ADC in one small 4.8 mm x 2.3 mm x 0.8 mm rectangular lead-less (LLP) package. The 3-in-1 sensor features an interrupt function, supports I²C bus communication interface, and greatly simplifies window and sensor placement in a wide variety of consumer and industrial applications.

Containing all the circuitry needed for portable electronics in one device, the fully-integrated VCNL4020 eliminates the need for additional light barriers and optical alignment of the IR emitter and photo diode. The VCNL4020's interrupt function enables the sensor to work independently until a predefined proximity or ambient light event occurs and then wakes up the microcontroller. This helps customers reduce their software effort and lower their power consumption by eliminating polling communication traffic between the sensor and microcontroller.

  • Small, 4.8 mm x 2.3 rectangular LLP package with an ultra-low 0.8 mm profile
  • Combines an IR emitter, proximity PIN photodiode, and an ambient light sensor
  • Signal-processing IC
  • 16-bit ADC compensates for signal loss through the sensor window
  • Interrupt function lowers power consumption
  • Supports an easy-to-use I²C bus communication interface
  • Proximity function:
    • 16-bit effective resolution for proximity detection ensures excellent cross-talk immunity
    • Operates at depths or air gaps of up to 10 mm
    • Programmable LED drive current from 10 mA to 200 mA (in 10 mA steps) allows object detection up to 200 mm
    • Drives external emitters for longer range
    • Offers excellent ambient light suppression by signal modulation


  • Proximity sensor for touch screen locking
  • Ambient light function for display/keypad adaptive brightness control
  • End products include mobile devices such as smart phones, touch phones, PDAs, GPS units, and digital cameras, in addition to computing and industrial devices and displays
  • Ambient light function:
    • 16-bit dynamic range for ambient light detection from 0.25 lux to 16 klux
    • Offers 100 Hz and 120 Hz flicker noise rejection
  • Low stand-by current consumption of 1.5 μA
  • Supply voltage range of 2.5 V to 3.6 V
  • I²C bus voltage range from 1.7 V to 5 V
  • Operates over a temperature range of - 25 °C to + 85 °C
  • Provides a Moisture Sensitivity Level (MSL) of 4
  • Compliant to RoHS Directive 2011/65/EU and WEEE 2002/96/EC
  • Halogen-free
  • Compatible with lead (Pb)-free soldering
  • An available demo kit allows designers to quickly and easily evaluate the sensor in their applications

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