pSemi intros GaN FET driver for fast switching to solid-state LiDAR

IMS 2018--PHILADELPHIA. pSemi Corporation (a Murata company, formerly known as Peregrine Semiconductor) announced at this week's International Microwave Symposium (IMS) the availability of the PE29101 gallium nitride (GaN) field-effect transistor (FET) driver for solid-state light detection and ranging (LiDAR) systems.

The PE29101 high-speed driver enables design engineers to extract the full performance and speed advantages from GaN transistors, say pSemi officials; in solid-state systems, faster switching translates into improved resolution and accuracy in the LiDAR image. GaN FETs must be controlled by a very fast driver to maximize the fast-switching potential, and boosting the switching speed requires a driver with fast rise times and a low minimum output pulse width.

"As GaN is proving its relevance in applications like solid-state LiDAR, design engineers are using pSemi high-speed drivers to maximize the fast-switching benefits of GaN," says Jim Cable, chief technology officer of pSemi. "Because of its rise and fall speed, the PE29101 enables the highest possible resolution imagery -- something the industry needs for LiDAR to reach its fullest potential."

LiDAR, while it employs the same principles as radar, instead uses pulsed lasers to precisely map surrounding areas. LiDAR is now used in advanced-driver assistance programs and is seen as a key enabler to fully autonomous vehicles. Moreover, solid-state LiDAR has emerged as the future leader in the commercialization of LiDAR systems, largely due to its affordability, reliability, and compact size compared to mechanical sensors.

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