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Encoder sensor chips for blue light improve resolution

05 Feb 2015

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Encoder blue

Germany-based iC-Haus has rolled out sensor chips for optical position encoders with photodiodes aimed at blue light. The iC-PT H-Series encoder chips combine optimised scanning and signal interpolation in a flat 5mm2 x 5mm2 optoQFN package with a plane window.

Due to the optimised Phased-Array structure of the opto-chips, a scanning area of 1.9mm x 3.1mm is sufficient to generate 10,000 pulses per revolution using a code disc with a diameter of 26mm, for example. The blue light increases the contrast with lower noise and the improved efficiency reduces the current consumption within the optical system.

The devices generate low-jitter encoder quadrature signals with index via 4mA push-pull drivers in single, double and four-fold resolution for precise motor regulation. Conventional Hall sensors used for motor commutation have been replaced by the integration of three additional scanning tracks. Here, the code disc determines the required commutation signal and can be easily adapted to suit the required motor pole count.

The index gating as well as the interpolation is easily selectable by pin. Output frequencies of up to 1.6MHz are permitted, enabling motor speed control at up to 10,000rpm with 10,000 pulses per revolution. Analogue test signals can be activated for ease of alignment and test of the complete encoder assembly.

The small scanning area and high sensitivity both help to reduce the power requirements of the encoder LED, and operating current of a few milliamps is sufficient. This improves the LED's lifetime, especially at high operating temperatures. The iC-PT H devices control the LED and compensate for ageing and temperature effects.

Evaluation boards for the scanners together with plastic code discs and snap-on blue LEDs are available. The higher forward voltage of blue LEDs and the integrity of the materials used within the encoder have to be considered at system design.

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