EPC GaN eToF laser driver IC enables higher density lidar systems

Article By : Efficient Power Conversion

EPC's EPC21701 is capable of 15A pulsed current for ToF lidar applications including vacuum cleaners, robotics, 3D security cameras and 3D sensing.

Efficient Power Conversion (EPC) has launched the EPC21701, a laser driver that monolithically integrates an 80V, 40A FET with gate driver and 3.3 logic level input into a single chip for time-of-flight lidar systems used in robotics, surveillance systems, and vacuum cleaners. It is tailored to lidar systems for gesture recognition, time of flight (ToF) measurement, robotic vision, or industrial safety.

The EPC21701 laser driver uses 5V supply voltage and is controlled using 3.3V logic. It is capable of very high frequencies greater than 50MHz and super short pulses down to 2ns to modulate laser driving currents up to 15A. Voltage switching time is less than 1ns and delay time from input to output is less than 3.6ns. The EPC21701 is a single-chip driver plus GaN FET using EPC’s proprietary GaN IC technology in a chip-scale BGA form factor that measures only 1.7-by-1-by-0.68mm. The wafer level packaging is small, low inductance, and lays out very well with the laser system. With this small form factor and the integration of several functions, the overall solution is 36% smaller on the printed circuit board (PCB) compared to an equivalent multi-chip discrete implementation.

The 80V EPC21701 complements the ToF driver IC family in chip-scale package (CSP) that also includes the 40V, 15A EPC21601 and the 40V, 10A EPC21603 options.

Integrated devices in a single chip are easier to design, easier to layout, easier to assemble, save space on the PCB, increase efficiency, and reduce cost. This family of products will enable faster adoption and increased ubiquity of ToF solutions across a wider array of end-user applications.

“This new family of GaN integrated circuits dramatically improves the performance while reducing size and cost for time-of-flight lidar systems,” said Alex Lidow, CEO, and co-founder of EPC. “Integrating a GaN FET with driver on one chip generates an extremely powerful and fast IC and reduces size and cost for wider adoption in consumer and industrial applications. With EPC21701 we expand the family to 80V and 15A and will soon extend the family further to 100V and 125A.”

The EPC9172 development board features the EPC21701 eToF laser driver IC and is primarily intended to drive laser diodes with short, high current pulses. Capabilities include minimum pulse widths of <2ns, 15A peak currents, and bus voltage rating of 40V.

Designers interested in replacing their silicon MOSFETs with a GaN solution can use the EPC GaN Power Bench’s cross-reference tool to find a suggested replacement based on their unique operating conditions.

The cross-reference tool can be found at: https://epc-co.com/epc/DesignSupport/GaNPowerBench/CrossReferenceSearch.aspx


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