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Lidar development board drives 3D maps creation speeds
Efficient Power Conversion Corporation (EPC) provides the EPC9126HC, a 100V, 150A high current pulsed laser diode driver evaluation board. The rapid transition capability of eGaN FETs provide power pulses to drive the laser up to 10 times faster than an equivalent MOSFET, says the company,  enhancing the overall performance of a LiDAR system. The company points out that in a lidar system, used to create 3-D maps for autonomous vehicle applications, speed and accuracy of object detection is critical.

The 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 eGaN FET is a 100V maximum voltage device capable of current pulses up to 150A.  The development board can drive 75A pulses into a high power triple junction laser diode with a pulse width as low as 5ns. The board includes multiple low inductance connection options for mounting laser diodes and drives these via a discharging a capacitor (supplied), 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 PCB is designed to minimise the power loop inductance while maintaining mounting flexibility for the laser diode. Multiple on-board passive probes are provided for voltages and discharge capacitor current measurement. There are also SMA connections for input and sensing designed for 50Ω measurement systems. There is an optional precision narrow pulse generator that can be enabled. The board can also be used for other applications requiring a ground-referenced eGaN FET, for example in Class E or similar circuits.

The EPC9126HC evaluation board is available from Digi-Key.


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