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9 January 2024

EPC launches laser driver boards showcasing AEC-Q101-qualified GaN FETs’ rapid transition for superior LiDAR system performance

Efficient Power Conversion Corp (EPC) of El Segundo, CA, USA — which makes enhancement-mode gallium nitride on silicon (eGaN) power field-effect transistors (FETs) and integrated circuits for power management applications — has introduced three evaluation boards (EPC9179, EPC9181 and EPC9180) featuring pulse current laser drivers of 75A, 125A and 231A, showcasing the firm’s AEC-Q101-qualified GaN FETs. These FETs (EPC2252, EPC2204A and EPC2218A) are 30% smaller and more cost-effective than their predecessors. Designed for both long- and short-range automotive light detection & ranging (LiDAR) systems, these boards expedite solution evaluation with varied input and output options. All boards share identical functionality, differing only in peak current and pulse width. Utilizing a resonant discharge power stage, they employ a ground-referenced GaN FET driven by LMG1020 gate driver. The GaN FET’s ultrafast switching enables rapid discharge of a charged capacitor through the load’s stray inductance, enabling peak discharge currents of tens to hundreds of amps within nanoseconds. The printed circuit board is designed to minimize power loops and common source inductance while offering mounting flexibility for laser diodes or alternative loads. To enhance user-friendliness, all boards ship with EPC9989 interposer PCBs, featuring various footprints to accommodate a variety of laser diodes or other loads. Customers can choose one that meets their needs to evaluate the GaN solutions. The EPC9179/81/80 boards are designed to be triggered from 3.3V logic or differential logic signals such as LVDS. For single-ended inputs, the boards can operate with input voltages down to 2.5V or 1.8V with a simple modification. Since designing an automotive LiDAR system is complex and finding a reliable solution is challenging, the purpose of these evaluation boards is to simplify the evaluation of powerful GaN-based LiDAR drivers that switch faster and deliver higher pulse current than other semiconductor solutions. For technical details, EPC offers full schematics, bill of materials (BOM), PCB layout files and a quick start guide on EPC’s website. “To meet the growing demand for automotive LiDAR, these cost-effective boards, featuring our latest AEC products, streamline evaluation, reducing time-to-market with exceptional switching performance,” says CEO & co-founder Alex Lidow. The EPC2252, EPC2204A and EPC2218A GaN FET are priced at $0.85, $1.37 and $2.71, respectively, in 1000-unit volumes. The EPC9179/EPC9181/EPC9180 development board is priced at $393.900, $454.50 and $424.20 each, respectively. All evaluation boards and GaN FETs are available for immediate delivery from distributor Digi-Key. See related items:

EPC adds 80V, 11mΩ, AEC-Q101-qualified GaN FET

Tags: EPC E-mode GaN FETs


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