eGaN FET-based high current pulsed laser diode driver targets LiDAR

January 19, 2017 // By Julien Happich
Ultra fast transition eGaN FETs used on the EPC9126 can drive laser diodes with high current pulses and total pulse widths as low as 5ns, thus enhancing the quality of information a LiDAR system will detect, including the accuracy, precision, and processing speed.

The EPC9126 100V high current pulsed laser diode driver evaluation board announced by Efficient Power Conversion Corporation (EPC) demonstrates the rapid transition capability of eGaN FETs, providing power pulses to drive the laser up to ten times faster than an equivalent MOSFET. The board features an EPC2016C ground-referenced eGaN FET driven by a Texas Instruments UCC27611 gate driver. The EPC2016C is a 100 V maximum voltage device capable of current pulses up to 75A with total pulse widths as low as 5ns. The board can accommodate an EPC2001C 100 V 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 (as shipped) or directly from a power bus. It does not include a laser diode, which must be supplied by the user to evaluate specific applications.

The PCB is designed to minimize 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 comes equipped with SMA connections for input and sensing designed for 50 Ω measurement systems.

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