Sharp Microelectronics Introduces Industry-first 5-beam Wide Angle Sensors

March 25, 2005
New sensors feature a 25 degree wide measuring angle achieved by 5 triangulation detections in one complete package

CAMAS, Wash. -- Sharp Microelectronics of the Americas announces the introduction of the industry's first 5-beam Wide Angle Sensors, featuring wide area triangulation sensing capability. Part of Sharp's expanded lineup of distance measuring sensors, the new 5-beam Wide Angle Sensors offer a 25 degree wide measuring angle and come in three detection ranges from 4 cm to 300 cm. They are the latest in Sharp's lineup of lead-free parts that comply with the RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) directive.

The Sharp 5-beam Wide Angle Sensors combine wide area sensing with triangulation capabilities to provide extreme reliability, no moving parts, little energy consumption, continuous distance reading, and low reflective interference. An improvement over current methods of using multiple sensors for distance detection and ranges, the sensors will reduce an overall bill of materials since one sensor can now take the place of 4 or 5 average sensors. This provides engineers with design flexibility and can save on-board space.

Because these sensors contain wide area sensing and triangulation capabilities, they can track movement in the field of view. In addition to the unique ability to detect object movement in a radial matrix, future enhancements might include passive infrared capability to distinguish between animate and inanimate objects.

"Sharp is continuously improving its sensors through advanced engineering based on its 20-plus years of experience developing optoelectronics products," said David Kromer, Director of the Optoelectronics Business Unit at Sharp. "These new lead-free Wide Angle Sensors offer the most significant distance range and detection options on the market today, and meet the needs of design engineers who are demanding improved performance and enhanced discrimination for more complex applications. They offer the assurance of quality products backed by Sharp's reputation as a leader in the optoelectronics market."

Typical applications include the robotics market, including robot vacuum cleaners, ATM machines, smart vending machines or amusement equipment that remain in "sleep" mode until a user approaches. The sensors can also be used in smart homes and offices to regulate heating and air-conditioning, and for security purposes.

These new lead-free sensors are RoHS compliant, and do not contain any hazardous substances that are harmful to either human health or the environment. Sharp has a positive track record in developing environmentally sound products and following eco-friendly manufacturing processes.