WEBENCH® Photodiode Sensor Designer

Photodetector solutions appear in many different applications including communications, security, automotive, military, telecom, medical instrumentation, ranging and distance, barcode scanners, and other industrial systems for optical signal pick up, conditioning, and transfer.

WEBENCH Photodiode Designer provides a complete photodiode to digital serial output solution, including sensor interface, transimpedance amplifier, 8-bit through 12-bit ADCs, and a serialized output to connect to various back-end systems. Start by selecting a photodiode sensor from a list of market leaders, or specify your own photodiode sensor parameters by creating a custom sensor. WEBENCH Photodiode Designer provides you with optimized signal path performance, bill of materials, budgetary cost, and links to evaluation boards and other tools for testing and validating your simulated solution.

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WEBENCH Photodiode Sensor Designer Solutions

WEBENCH Photodiode Sensor Designer solutions use a transimpedance amplifier circuit. The photodiode's configuration is in a photoconductive mode. An op amp, configured as a current-to-voltage converter (transimpedance amplifier), detects and amplifies the photodiode output current. A single-ended ADC (8 to 12 bits) accepts the amplifier's output voltage and converts that signal to a 8-, 10-, or 12-bit digital output.

Initially, select the 'photodiode' button and click on the red 'Start Design' button. In the next screen select a photodetector and your application's signal bandwidth. Standard photodiode products can be selected from a list, or a custom photodiode can be "created" for use with the Designer. By clicking a green 'Start Design' button, these variables will be embedded into the transimpedance amplifier system and the next view with show the details behind the design.

Design Resources

Evaluation Boards


Example schematic: A transimpedance amplifier converts the Photodiode output current to a voltage. This amplifier circuit then drives a single-input SAR ADC.

Photodiode Sensor Designer Help

How to use this design tool:

1) Explore & Learn
In the 'WEBENCH® Designer MyDesigns' panel, select the 'Sensors' menu tab. In this view, select the 'photodiode' button and then click the red 'Start Design' button. In the next view select your desired system bandwidth and sensor type. Choose a pre-loaded sensor or enter a custom sensor to meet your needs. Then click the green 'Start Design' button.

2) Compare & Select
Review the resulting schematic, bill of materials, performance summary, and other technical results in the Design Summary overview. Click on any of the displayed panels to review more advanced or detailed information behind each panel. You can modify design parameters or further optimize your design by selecting a different sensor, amplifier, ADC, or other system parameters.

3) Design & Build
In the 'Documentation, Prototyping Kit' panel print a report to document your design or order evaluation kits, and other tools. Additionally, download applicable datasheets, application notes, and other design tips.


Photodiode Sensor Vendors

Advanced Photonix

  • PDB-C107
  • PDB-C109
  • PDB-C122
  • SD076-11-31-211
  • SD100-12-22-021
  • More...

Edmund Optics


  • G6742-003
  • G8931-04
  • G9906-01
  • More...


Silicon Sensor