+44 (0)24 7671 8970
More publications     •     Advertise with us     •     Contact us
News Article

GaN FETs enable fast laser diode control in cars


Driver boards showcase AEC-Q101 qualified GaN FETs for LiDAR systems

EPC has introduced three evaluation boards - EPC9179, EPC9181, and EPC9180 - featuring pulse current laser drivers of 75 A, 125 A, and 231 A , showcasing EPC’s AEC-Q101 GaN FETs.

These FETs; EPC2252, EPC2204A, and EPC2218A are said to be 30 percent smaller and more cost-effective than their predecessors. The boards are designed for both long and short-range automotive lidar systems, and feature varied input and output options.

All boards share identical functionality, differing only in peak current and pulse width. Using a resonant discharge power stage, they employ a ground-referenced GaN FET driven by LMG1020 gate driver. The GaN FET's ultrafast switching enables rapid discharge of a charged capacitor through the load's stray inductance, enabling peak discharge currents of tens to hundreds of amps within nanoseconds.

The PCB is designed to minimise power loops and common source inductance while offering mounting flexibility for laser diodes or alternative loads. To enhance user-friendliness, all boards ship with EPC9989 interposer PCBs, featuring various footprints to accommodate a variety of laser diodes or other loads. Customers can choose one that meets their needs to evaluate the GaN solutions.

The EPC9179/81/80 boards are designed to be triggered from 3.3V logic or differential logic signals such as LVDS. For single-ended inputs, the boards can operate with input voltages down to 2.5 V or 1.8 V with a simple modification. Designing an automotive lidar system is complex, and finding a reliable solution is challenging.

The purpose of these evaluation boards is to simplify the evaluation of powerful GaN-based lidar drivers that switch faster and deliver higher pulse current than other semiconductor solutions.

The EPC2252, EPC2204A, and EPC2218A GaN FET are priced at $0.85, $1.37, $2.71 respectively in 1Ku volumes.

The EPC9179/EPC9181/EPC9180 development board is priced at $393.900, $454.50, $424.20 each respectively.

Search the news archive

To close this popup you can press escape or click the close icon.
Register - Step 1

You may choose to subscribe to the Compound Semiconductor Magazine, the Compound Semiconductor Newsletter, or both. You may also request additional information if required, before submitting your application.

Please subscribe me to:


You chose the industry type of "Other"

Please enter the industry that you work in:
Please enter the industry that you work in: