Laser driver IC family is optimised for AR

Augmented reality (AR), robotics, drones, 3D sensing, gaming and autonomous vehicles uses time of flight (ToF) lidar systems. Efficient Power Conversion (EPC) latest GaN IC is the EPC21603 laser driver which has been added to the eToF laser driver IC family.

The GaN IC laser driver integrates a 40V, 10A FET with a gate driver and low-voltage differential signalling (LVDS) logic level input in a single chip for time-of-flight lidar systems.

The EPC21603 laser driver is controlled using LVDS logic and is capable of very high frequencies exceeding 100MHz and super short pulses (less than two nanoseconds) to modulate laser driving currents up to 10A. The bus is rated at 30V. The EPC21603 is a single-chip driver plus eGaN FET. Based on EPC’s proprietary GaN IC technology, it is delivered in a chip-scale BGA form factor that measures just 1.5 x 1.0mm. 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 AR, pointed out EPC.

Among the benefits of integrated devices packaged in a single chip are ease of design, ease of layout and assembly as well as space savings and increased efficiency, while costs are reduced, advised EPC.

The EPC21603 and the previously announced EPC21601 make up EPC’s family of GaN ICs. Commenting on the potential for the GaN ICs in ToF lidar systems, Alex Lidow, CEO, and co-founder of EPC, said: “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.”

The EPC9156 development board features the EPC21603 eToF laser driver IC. It is primarily intended to drive laser diodes with short, high current pulses.   

The EPC21603 eToF laser drive IC and the accompanying EPC9156 development board are available now for immediate delivery from Digi-Key.

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