EPC Debuts A Demonstration Board Featuring eGaN FETS Driving Laser DiodesMarch 25, 2021 by Gary Elinoff
Efficient Power Conversion’s 200V EPC9150 generates 220 amp, 2.9 ns wide current pulses for automotive LIDAR systems
Efficient Power Conversion’s (EPC) EPC9150 demonstrates what the company’s N-channel EPC2034C eGaN FETs can do, and provides a road map for successful OEM applications.
The EPC9150 demonstration board, with the Epc2034C eGaN FET mounted on the center right. Image courtesy of EPC
LIDAR (Light detection and ranging) systems send out laser pulses and measure the time to return. This information can be used to provide a wealth of invaluable information for autonomous vehicles.
Modern GaN FETS can not only generate as many as ten times the pulses in a given amount of time than can an old school silicon MOSFET, but they also take up less space and they save cost. In addition to better, more effective automotive LIDAR systems, eGaN FETS will also serve in a variety of applications in industrial robotics and in security.
Efficient Power Conversion’s Demo Boards
EPC frequently offers demo boards to showcase its products. This method goes on step beyond evaluation boards, and allows engineers to quickly give new components a real workout. EPC often partners with other companies on demo boards, as it did with Renesas to showcase its own EPC0157 and Renesas’ ISL81806.
The EPC9150 includes an interposer board, a variety of break-away 5 x 5 mm interposer PCBs. These feature varied footprints to work with the designer’s choice of lasers, RF connectors and with different loads. This allows designers to go beyond simulator-based analysis and try out their ideas in the real world without much of an upfront investment in hardware.
The EPC9150 employs the EPC2034C as a power stage driven by a TI LMG1020 gate driver. The PCB is designed with minimizing power loop inductances in mind, while maintaining flexibility for mounting components. It provides many on-board passive probes for real-time measurements, and features high bandwidth SMA connectors for input and sensing.
The device can also be employed in applications requiring a ground-referenced eGaN FET, such as Class E amplifiers.
The Lidar system applications for which the EPC9150 will serve include:
- Autonomous and semi autonomous vehicles
- Robot vision
- Industrial safety
For any GaN FET, two critical factors are RDS(ON) and QG (total gate charge). For this eGaN FET, the figures, which go to make up the device’s “figure of merit”, are spec’d at 8mΩ and 11.1nC, respectively. It also features zero QRR.
Also of critical importance to a switching speed are the device capacitances, Typical values for the EPC2034C are:
- CISS, Input Capacitance: 1155pF
- CRSS, Reverse Transfer Capacitance: 3.1pF
- COSS, Output Capacitance: 641pF
Also important are the thermal resistances. For the EPC2034C they are, in °C/W:
- RθJC, junction-to-case: 0.3
- RθJB, Junction-to-board: 4
- RθJA, Junction-to-ambient: 45
Applications for the EPC2034A
- Isolated and non-isolated high frequency DC/DC converters
- Sync rectification
- BLDC motors
- Wireless power
- Micro inverters for solar power
- Class-D audio
Physical parameters for the EPC2034A
- The device operates over a -40 to +150℃
- Available in 4.6 by 2.6 mm passivated die form with solder bumps
Environmental factors for the EPC2034A
- RoHS compliant
- Halogen free