New Industry Products

GaN-Based Time-of-Flight Demonstration Board Drives Lasers with 1.2ns Pulses

January 09, 2020 by Paul Shepard

Efficient Power Conversion (EPC) announced the availability of the EPC9144, a 15V, 28A high current pulsed laser diode driver demonstration board. In time-of-flight systems, speed and accuracy of object detection is critical. As demonstrated on this board, the rapid transition capability of the AEC Q101-qualified EPC2216 gallium-nitride (GaN) FET provides power pulses to drive laser diodes, VCSELs or LEDs up to ten-times faster than an equivalent MOSFET, in a small fraction of the area, energy, and cost

eGaN® FETs and integrated circuits provide the high current pulses, extremely narrow pulse widths, and small size that make affordable, high performance lidar possible. The short pulse width lead to higher resolution, and the tiny size and low cost make eGaN FETs ideal for time-of-flight applications from automotive to industrial, healthcare to smart advertising, gaming, and security.

The EPC9144 ships with an interposer board. The interposer board is a collection of break-away 5mm x 5mm square interposer PCBs with footprints to accommodate different lasers, RF connectors, and a collection of other footprints designed for experimentation with different loads. The use of the interposers allows many different lasers or other loads to be mounted, allowing users to test the performance with the load requirements that are appropriate to their application.

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GaN is a critical factor making affordable, high performance lidar possible. Thus, the use of GaN components further expands the number of applications where increased accuracy is vital. These applications include self-driving cars and other time-of-flight applications such as facial recognition, warehouse automation, drones and topological mapping.

Features of the EPC9144 Demo Board:

  • 15V high current pulsed laser diode
  • EPC2216 ground-referenced eGaN FET driven by TI's LMG1020 gate driver
  • Multiple ultra-low inductance connection options

The EPC9144 can also be used for applications requiring a ground-referenced eGaN FET; for example, in class E or similar circuits.

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Price and Availability

The EPC9144 demonstration board is priced $378.00 each.

The EPC2216 eGaN FET used on the EPC9144 demonstration board is priced at 2.5Ku/reel at $0.532 each.

Both are available for immediate delivery from Digi-Key.