Lumileds and Melexis achieve high-frequency operation with IR LEDs

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High frequency operation of infrared light sources has been widely applied in automotive, industrial and consumer segments following the trend of 3D sensing. Targeting the growing market of related applications, Lumileds has demonstrated its IR LED products, LUXEON IR Domed and LUXEON IR Compact LEDs to be alternatives to VCSEL technology.

Engineering teams from Lumileds and Melexis have developed an evaluation kit that allows LUXEON IR LEDs to be operated at high frequencies up to 40MHz. The intrinsic properties of the LUXEON IR LEDs result in a clean and repeatable response curve required for TOF operations.

“The illuminator evaluation kit developed by Lumileds reduces the rise and fall times of the light pulses to 6 ns, which is a factor of 4 over other similar LED devices. This is enabled by optimizing the combination of improved peak current response of the LUXEON IR LEDS, the PCB design and boost electronics. The illuminator card enables an LED-based TOF system with accuracy and range comparable to VCSEL-based solutions, while reducing the overall system cost,” said Erno Fancsali, Director CPAT EMEA at Lumileds.

“This break-through in high-frequency operation of LUXEON IR LEDs enables new TOF applications previously limited by cost or eye-safety constraints. This development will help to bring affordable and eye-safe distance measurements to a much broader range of products such as driver monitoring systems, logistics navigation, gesture recognition systems and drones. The Lumileds LED illuminator is available in 60°, 90°, and 150° fields of view and for 850nm and 940nm, by request,” said Wouter Schrama, Sr. Product Manager for the LUXEON IR Family at Lumileds.

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