Low power consumption makes new proximity sensor ideal for battery-powered consumer devices

The VCNL36828P sensor module from Vishay implements a complete proximity sensing system which detects objects at a range of up to 200 mm. The module saves both space and power in products such as earbuds.

Vishay has introduced a fully integrated proximity sensor which offers exceptionally low power consumption. In low-power mode, the VCNL36828P sensor draws just 5 µA between measurements. The VCNL36828P combines a 940 nm infrared vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) emitter, photodiode, and ASIC in a single package.


This compact sensor, with a package measuring just 2.0 mm x 1.0 mm x 0.5 mm, is suitable for object detection in a wide range of consumer use cases. For instance in true wireless stereo earbuds, support for multiple slave addresses means that two VCNL36828P sensors may be placed on the same I2C bus in each earphone: this enables it to tell whether the sensor has been placed in-ear or on a table or other surface.


The sensor’s VCSEL emitter has a narrow beam, the angle of emission is just ±4.5°. This enables the application to work with a small window, increasing design flexibility.


The sensor offers reliable operation even when outdoors. The VCNL36828P’s sunlight cancellation feature compensates for bright ambient light of up to 140 klux.


  • 200 mm detection range
  • Programmable VCSEL sink current
  • I2C interface
  • 1.8 V supply voltage


  • True wireless stereo earphones
  • Multi-button displays
  • Smart home products
  • IoT devices
  • Touchless dispensers
  • VR/AR headsets
  • Smart watches

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