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Efficient Power Conversion (EPC) Revolutionizes Lidar System Design with Release of eToF Laser Driver IC Family of Products

Efficient Power Conversion (EPC) Revolutionizes Lidar System Design with Release of eToF Laser Driver IC Family of Products

Efficient Power Conversion (EPC) introduces the first of a new gallium nitride (GaN) integrated circuit (IC) product family offering higher performance and smaller solution size for time-of-flight (ToF) lidar applications including robotics, drones, 3D sensing, and autonomous cars.

EL SEGUNDO, Calif.— February 2021 — EPC announces the introduction of a laser driver that integrates a 40 V, 10 A FET with integrated gate driver and 3.3 logic level input in a single chip for time-of-flight lidar systems used in robotics, surveillance systems, drones, autonomous cars, and vacuum cleaners.

The EPC21601 is a laser driver that is controlled using 3.3 V logic and is capable of very high frequencies exceeding 100 MHz and super short pulses < 2 ns to modulate laser driving currents up to 10 A. Turn-on and turn-off times are 410 ps and 320 ps respectively. The EPC21601 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 1.5 mm x 1.0 mm.   With this small form factor and the integration of several functions, the overall solution that is 36% smaller on the printed circuit board (PCB) compared to an equivalent multi-chip discrete implementation.

EPC21601 gallium nitride (GaN) integrated circuit (IC)

The EPC21601 is the first offering in what will be a wide-range family of integrated laser drive ICs available in chip-scale package (CSP).  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.

“Recent advances in our GaN IC technology are poised to change the way time-of-flight lidar systems are designed,” said Alex Lidow, CEO, and co-founder of EPC. “Integrating an eGaN FET plus driver on one chip generates an extremely powerful, blazingly-fast IC and reduces size and cost wider adoption in consumer applications.  This new family of GaN integrated circuits will dramatically improve the performance while reducing size and cost for time-of-flight lidar systems.”

Development Board

The EPC9154 development board features the EPC21601 eToF™ laser driver IC and is primarily intended to drive laser diodes with short, high current pulses. Capabilities include minimum pulse widths of < 2 ns, 10 A peak currents, and bus voltage rating of 30 V.

Price and Availability

The EPC21601 eToF laser drive IC is priced at less than $1.00 at 500 ku.

The EPC9154 development board is priced at $465.23 each.

The EPC21601 and EPC9154 are available for immediate delivery from Digi-Key at https://www