Going small for a big impact – new ultra-compact series of photodiodes enables advanced automotive applications

New ultra-compact series of photodiodes enables advanced automotive applications

Beyond better engine efficiency and the reduction of emissions, the car of the future is an exciting concept when it comes to the driving experience. The use of visible and invisible light is helping to advance the efficiency of control and assistance systems, making driving safer and more comfortable. The miniaturization of photodiodes enables new opportunities for system designs while competitive pricing of a new solution generation opens a wider market for applications across the automotive market.


Category: Automotive
Location: Regensburg, Germany
Technology/Services: Photodiodes
Year: 2018

Making cars more driver-friendly is a key trend in the automotive industry. Whether it is the detection of rain to automatically activate and adapt the windshield wipers or the automatic adjustment of display and interior illumination, depending on the intensity of the ambient light – seemingly small things like these can make driving not only more comfortable but also safer. On one hand the driver has less systems he needs to operate manually, so he can concentrate on the traffic. On the other hand the visibility of displays and an optimum illumination of the car contributes to the best possible visibility.

Many systems automating these tasks are based on the accurate detection of visible and invisible light. Photodiodes detect e.g. the sunlight filtering into a car and trigger a signal to the system which adjusts the brightness of the display illumination. Photodiodes in rain sensors, mounted behind the windshield, detect the number of rain drops on a certain area on the windshield and enable appropriate wiper operation.

Up to now, the size of the photodiodes needed for these tasks has sometimes been a challenge for system designers. So far the diodes with the appropriate automotive certification and all required features have been comparatively large and costly. Based on its longstanding in-depth knowledge in the automotive market combined with the expertise in ChipLED housing, Osram Opto Semiconductors was able to overcome these challenges and has developed three new ultra-compact photodiodes with AM certification for a wide range of automotive applications.

All three products – the SFH 2700 A01, SFH 2700 FA A01 and SFH 2711 A01 – feature the same footprint of only 1,25 mm x 2,0 mm x 0,8 mm and a light sensitive area of 0,35mm². Each device shows a different spectral sensitivity behavior. The SFH 2700 A01 is a broad band photodiode detecting light from 400 nm to 1100 nm, the SFH 2700 FA A01 has a cut-off filter for the visible part of the spectrum and is only sensitive to near infrared (700-1100 nm). The SFH 2711 A01 is an ambient light photodiode which very closely reproduces the spectral sensitivity of the human eye.

Due to the very small package size and the good price-performance ratio of the latest addition as well as the broad photodiode portfolio of Osram Opto Semiconductors clients can find the best suited product for their specific requirements.

Please find here some keyfacts on the three photodiodes. For more information on the products refer to the product selector.

Used Products

Part #

Spectral range [nm]

Half angle [deg]

Photo current [μA]

Sensitive area [mm²]

SFH 2711 A01470…670±550.12I_p = 1000 lx; white LED; VR = 5 V0.35
SFH 2700 A01300…1100±701.5l_p = 0.5 mW/cm²; λ = 850 nm; VR = 5 V0.35
SFH 2700 FA A01 700…1100±601.5l_p = 0.5 mW/cm²; λ = 850 nm; VR = 5 V0.35