We have a pcb that sits close to some hole. When something passes through ( at 2-5cm distance) we have to detect it.

To me it seems that this area is still in the 90's . When I check my options, all of them are large modules of infra red devices, or ultrasonic modules.

These works great, but I was looking for something that can sit on the pcb, small, and simply detect light/sound/etc.

Something elegant , the size of a chip.

Are there things like that ?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Yes, there are plenty. Chip-scale IR distance sensors. You probably have one in your phone for detecting if the cover is closed. \$\endgroup\$ – Majenko Jul 15 '17 at 17:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks, but those in the phone have a very limited angle, because they are usually phototransistors, you can't put them in day light and measure when something passes by, only when you cover them completly . Do you have a specific name ? \$\endgroup\$ – Curnelious Jul 15 '17 at 17:04
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    \$\begingroup\$ Try (now I have had a chance to look through my references) the MAX44000. \$\endgroup\$ – Majenko Jul 15 '17 at 17:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ A google search for "infra-red proximity chip" throws up a few more, such as the Si1102 and the GP2Y0A21YK \$\endgroup\$ – Majenko Jul 15 '17 at 17:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ Another example, which is more integrated: VCNL4010 - Adafruit do it as a module, so I can imagine there is plenty of support and code examples. \$\endgroup\$ – Majenko Jul 15 '17 at 17:18

I'd suggest you try an APDS-9960 based solution, this works out to several inches. The chip is about $2 in qtyenter link description here, and is very reasonable as a small board solution available from Sparkfun or on Ebay, prices from $4 -$16.

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I've used several of these $4 Ebay modules and they work just great.

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