30 November 2017
EPC’s 150A laser diode development board delivers 5ns pulses using eGaN technology
Efficient Power Conversion Corp (EPC) of El Segundo, CA, USA – which makes enhancement-mode gallium nitride on silicon (eGaN) power field-effect transistors (FETs) for power management applications – has announced the availability of the EPC9126HC, a 100V, 150A high-current pulsed laser diode driver evaluation board (priced at $231.25, available from Digi-Key).
In a LiDAR (light detection and ranging) system, used to create 3D maps for autonomous vehicle applications, the speed and accuracy of object detection is critical. As demonstrated by the new board, the rapid transition capability of eGaN FETs provides power pulses to drive the laser up to ten times faster than an equivalent MOSFET, enhancing the quality of information that a LiDAR system can detect (including the accuracy, precision, and processing speed).
The EPC9126HC development board is primarily intended to drive laser diodes and features an EPC2001C ground-referenced eGaN FET driven by a Texas Instruments UCC27611 gate driver. The EPC2001C is a 100V maximum voltage device capable of current pulses up to 150A. The EPC9126HC can drive 75A pulses into a high-power triple-junction laser diode with a pulse width as low as 5ns.
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. The board does not include a laser diode, which must be supplied by the user to evaluate specific applications.
The printed circuit board 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 50Ω measurement systems. In addition, the user can enable an optional precision narrow pulse generator.
Finally, the board can also be used for other applications requiring a ground-referenced eGaN FET, for example in Class E or similar circuits.