23 March 2021
EPC adds eToF laser driver IC optimized for AR
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 expanded its new family of gallium nitride (GaN) integrated circuits (ICs) offering higher performance and smaller solution size for time-of-flight (ToF) light detection & ranging (LiDAR) applications (including robotics, drones, 3D sensing, gaming and autonomous vehicles) by introducing a laser driver that integrates a 40V, 10A FET with a gate driver and low-voltage differential signaling (LVDS) logic level input in a single chip.
The EPC21603 laser driver is controlled using LVDS logic and is capable of very high frequencies exceeding 100MHz and super short pulses (<2ns) to modulate laser driving currents up to 10A. The EPC21603 is a single-chip driver plus eGaN FET using EPC’s proprietary GaN IC technology in a chip-scale BGA form factor that measures only 1.5mm x 1.0mm. The LVDS logic control allows the eToF laser driver IC to be controlled from a field-programmable gate array (FPGA) for applications where noise immunity is critical, such as augmented reality (AR).
Integrated devices in a single chip make it easier to design, easier to layout, easier to assemble, save space on the PCB, increase efficiency, and reduce cost, says EPC. The new family of products should enable faster adoption and increased ubiquity of ToF solutions across a more comprehensive array of end-user applications, the firm reckons.
“The EPC21603 joins the recently announced EPC21601 as the initial products in our new family of GaN ICs that dramatically improve the performance while reducing size and cost for time-of-flight LiDAR systems,” says CEO & co-founder Alex Lidow. “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 and is primarily intended to drive laser diodes with short, high-current pulses. Capabilities include minimum pulse widths of <2ns, 10A peak currents, and bus voltage rating of 30V.
The EPC21603 eToF laser drive IC is priced at less than $1 at 500ku. The EPC9156 development board is $465.23. Both are available for immediate delivery from distributor Digi-Key Corp.