Time of flight (ToF) relies on fast and accurate object detection. In automotive design, it is used in lidar systems for safety systems in advanced driver assisted systems (ADAS).
Efficient Power Conversion (EPC) has released the EPC9144 demonstration board, equipped its EPC2216 eGaN FET to drive lasers with currents up to 28A with pulse widths as low as 1.2ns. It is designed for ToF and flash lidar systems, says the company, where the rapid transition capability of the AEC Q101-qualified eGaN provides power pulses to drive laser diodes, vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) or LEDs up to 10 times faster than an equivalent MOSFET. Additionally, this is achieved in a fraction of the area, energy, and cost, says the company.
eGaN FETs and ICs provide the high current pulses, extremely narrow pulse widths, and small size for affordable, high performance lidar. The short pulse width leads to higher resolution and the small size and low cost make them suitable for ToF applications in a range of markets from automotive to industrial, healthcare to smart advertising, gaming, and security.
The board ships with an interposer board, a collection of 5.0 x 5.0mm interposer PCBs with footprints to accommodate different lasers, RF connectors and other footprints designed for different loads. The interposers allow many different lasers or other loads to be mounted, allowing users to test the performance with the load requirements that are appropriate to an application.
According to the company, GaN is a critical factor in making affordable, high performance lidar possible in self-driving cars, facial recognition, warehouse automation, drones and topological mapping.
The demonstration board can also be used for applications requiring a ground-referenced eGaN FET, for example, in class E or similar circuits.