Optoelectronics

The world of mini encoder iCs

1st June 2022
Paige West

Reflective optical encoder iCs from iC-Haus are constantly conquering new application fields beyond classic rotary encoders.

These range from simple rotary-coded switches to speed controlled micromotors in dentist drills at up to 180,000 rpm and lidar applications. They have also made further miniaturisation possible, e.g., in controlled small and micro drives

With the "World of Mini Encoder iCs" product line, iC-Haus wants to help users and developers find the optimal encoder IC for their application. At automatica 2022 (Booth B5-408), visitors can find out more about iC-Haus’ entire portfolio. 

Evolution opens up new niches

In the beginning there was iC-PR. Blue, reflective and lensless: This is how iC-Haus presented a small revolution in optical-reflective encoders at SPS IPC Drives in 2015. In 2017, the company received the Innovation Award of the State of Rhineland-Palatinate for EncoderBlue. The novel high-resolution reflective encoder ICs for incremental and absolute encoders in closed-loop motors are characterised by a particularly flat design (e.g., 2.95mm incl. PCB and code disk) and large mechanical tolerances compared to conventional transmitted-light encoders. As a result, assembly and adjustment have been significantly simplified. This is made possible by the use of a blue light LED and evaluation unit integrated in the encoder chip.

The iC-PZ, the high-end encoder IC of the new product line, is a further development with the unique FlexCount and FlexCode on-chip functions, which means that resolutions and code disc diameters are largely freely selectable. This makes the new encoder ICs even more flexible to use for optical scanning of measuring standards in rotary and linear position measuring systems.

Finding the right encoder IC for the application

The "World of Mini Encoder iCs" from iC-Haus supports code discs with a diameter of 4mm to 16mm, whereby the distance between disc and sensor can be up to 3mm. Interpolation with on-chip signal conditioning and compensations allow large tolerances (tangential ±0.5mm, radial ±0.4mm and tilt ±2°).

The following table gives an overview of the available typical resolutions and possible areas of application. The iC-PG specifically addresses rotary switches or similar applications in the consumer sector.

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