High-speed gate driver IC save energy in miniature lidar applications
Energy saving and miniaturisation in lidar applications and data centres are possible with the BD2311NVX-LB gate driver IC, claimed Rohm Semiconductor. It is optimised for GaN devices and achieves gate drive speeds on the order of nanoseconds which is suitable for high speed GaN switching. This results in fast switching with a minimum gate input pulse width of 1.25 nanoseconds that contributes to smaller, more energy efficient, higher performance applications, said Rohm.
Improving power conversion efficiency while reducing the size of power supply units in server systems are priorities as the number of IoT devices continues to grow. At the same time, lidar which is used for monitoring industrial equipment and social infrastructure as well as vehicles, demands high-speed pulsed laser light to further increase recognition accuracy.
GaN devices are sensitive towards gate input overvoltage, Rohm has developed a method to suppress the gate voltage overshoots and has implemented it into this driver. The optimum GaN device can be selected by adjusting the gate resistance based on application requirements, explained Rohm. The BD2311NVX-LB gate driver has a gate overvoltage suppression feature and when used with Rohm’s EcoGaN products simplifies a design and enhances application reliability.
Professor Yue-Ming Hsin, from the Department of Electrical Engineering, National Central University, Taiwan, said: “GaN devices are expected to be materials that can demonstrate performance in the high-frequency range more than silicon. In power switching applications such as DC/DC and AC/DC converters, and in lidar applications, the performance of GaN devices can contribute to smaller, more energy-efficient, and higher performance applications,” he said.
A team from the National Taipei University of Technology and Chang Gung University are working together on the same project, testing Rohm BD2311NVX gate driver IC. The results showed that BD2311NVX had shorter rise time and lower ringing at 1MHz switching frequency for boost converters compared to other driver ICs. The reduced rise time of this driver IC will help maximise the reduction in switching losses, which is an advantage of GaN.
Target applications are lidar drive circuits in industrial equipment or infrastructure monitoring, DC/DC converter circuits in data centres and base stations, wireless charging for portable devices and Class D audio amplifiers.
The IC is available from online distributors, Farnell, DigiKey and Mouser. The IC will be offered at other online distributors as it becomes available.
Reference designs for lidar, 150V EcoGaN and high power laser diodes are now available on Rohm’s website.