Demonstration board drives eGaN FETs for ToF and lidar systems

Using fast transition eGaN FETs from Efficient Power Conversion (EPC), the EPC9144 is a 15V, 28A high current pulsed laser diode driver demonstration board.

It is designed to illustrate the use of eGaN FET technology in developing systems that enhance the accuracy, precision, and processing speed of time of flight (ToF) and flash lidar systems.

Reliable ToF systems rely on the speed and accuracy of object detection. EPC says that the EPC9144 board demonstrates the rapid transition capability of the company’s AEC Q101-qualified EPC2216 eGaN FETs to provide power pulses to drive laser diodes, vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSELs) or LEDs up to 10 times faster than an equivalent MOSFET, in a small fraction of the area, energy, and cost.

eGaN FETs and ICs provide the high current pulses, extremely narrow pulse widths, and small size that make affordable, high performance lidar possible, EPC maintains. The short pulse width leads to higher resolution while the small size and low cost make eGaN FETs particularly well suited to ToF applications in a range of applications from automotive to industrial, healthcare to smart advertising, gaming, and security.

The EPC9144 ships with an interposer board. This is a collection of break-away 5.0 x 5.0mm square interposer PCBs with footprints to accommodate different lasers, RF connectors and other footprints designed to allow engineers to experiment with different loads in development projects. 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, adds EPC.

GaN can be used in autonomous vehicles and other ToF applications, advises the company, such as facial recognition, warehouse automation, drones and topological mapping. 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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