Evaluation board demonstrates LiDAR in automotives

20th January 2017
Caroline Hayes

To demonstrate how eGaN FETs can drive laser diodes to enhance LiDAR measuring systems used in vehicles for accuracy and processing speed, Efficient Power Conversion offers the EPC9126.

The 100V, high current, pulsed laser diode driver evaluation board shows the capability of eGaN FETs over MOSFETs in this application area.

The LiDAR system is used to detect objects in autonomous vehicle applications. For this, speed and accuracy of detection is critical. According to the company, the board demonstrates the rapid transition capability of eGaN FETs to provide power pulses to drive the laser up to 10 times faster than an equivalent MOSFET. The board is intended to drive laser diodes and features an EPC2016C ground-referenced eGaN FET is driven by a Texas Instruments UCC27611 gate driver. The EPC2016C 100V maximum voltage device is capable of current pulses up to 75A with total pulse widths as low as 5ns. The board can accommodate an EPC2001C 100V eGaN FET with a pulse current rating of up to 150A for users needing higher current capability.

The board includes multiple ultra-low inductance connection options for mounting laser diodes and can drive these via a discharging a capacitor or directly from a power bus. (The laser diode must be supplied by the user to evaluate specific applications.)

The PCB is designed to minimise the power loop inductance while maintaining mounting flexibility for the laser diode. It includes multiple on-board passive probes for voltages and discharge capacitor current measurement, and is equipped with SMA connections for input and sensing designed for 50Ω measurement systems. The user can enable an optional precision narrow pulse generator.

The board can also be used for any applications requiring a ground-referenced eGaN FET, for example in Class E or similar circuits.


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