New Industry Products

EPC Expands eToF Laser Driver IC Family with Device Optimized for Augmented Reality

March 23, 2021 by Hailey Stewart

This article highlights EPC introduction of a laser driver that integrates a 40 V, 10 A FET with a gate driver and low-voltage differential signaling (LVDS) logic level input in a single chip for time-of-flight lidar systems.

Efficient Power Conversion (EPC) announces the expansion of its new gallium nitride (GaN) integrated circuit (IC) product family offering higher performance and smaller solution size for time-of-flight (ToF) lidar applications including robotics, drones, 3D sensing, gaming, and autonomous cars.

Image courtesy of EPC

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — EPC announces the introduction of a laser driver that integrates a 40 V, 10 A FET with a gate driver and low-voltage differential signaling (LVDS) logic level input in a single chip for time-of-flight lidar systems used in robotics, drones, augmented reality, and gaming applications.

The EPC21603 is a laser driver that is controlled using LVDS logic and is capable of very high frequencies exceeding 100 MHz and super short pulses (< 2 ns) to modulate laser driving currents up to 10 A. The EPC21603 is a single-chip driver plus eGaN® FET using EPC’s proprietary GaN IC technology in a chip-scale BGA form factor that measures only 1.5 mm x 1.0 mm. The LVDS logic control allows the eToF™ laser driver IC to be controlled from an FPGA for applications where noise immunity is critical, such as augmented reality.

Image courtesy of EPC

Integrated devices in a single chip make it easier to design, easier to layout, easier to assemble, save space on the PCB, increase efficiency, and reduce cost. This family of products will enable faster adoption and increased ubiquity of ToF solutions across a more comprehensive array of end-user applications.

“The EPC21603 joins the recently announced EPC21601 as the initial products in our new family of GaN ICs that dramatically improve the performance while reducing size and cost for time-of-flight lidar systems,” said Alex Lidow, CEO, and co-founder of EPC. “This new family of GaN integrated circuits will continue to expand to higher currents, higher voltages, as well as furthering integration of additional control and logic features on a single chip.”

Development Board

The EPC9156 development board features the EPC21603 eToF™ laser driver IC and is primarily intended to drive laser diodes with short, high current pulses. Capabilities include minimum pulse widths of < 2 ns, 10 A peak currents, and bus voltage rating of 30 V.

Price and Availability

The EPC21603 eToF laser drive IC is priced at less than $1.00 at 500 ku. The EPC9156 development board is priced at$465.23 each.

The EPC21603 and EPC9156 are available for immediate delivery.