SCIEN Talk: Driverless Anything and the Role of LiDAR

Driverless Anything and the Role of LiDAR
Wednesday, January 17, 2018 - 4:30pm
Packard 101
Dr. Alex Lidow (Efficient Power Conversion)
Abstract / Description: 

LiDAR, or light detection and ranging, is a versatile light-based remote sensing technology that has been the subject of a great deal of attention in recent times. It has shown up in a number of media venues, and has even led to public debate about engineering choices of a well-known electric car company, Tesla Motors. During this talk the speaker will provide some background on LiDAR and discuss why it is a key link to the future autonomous vehicle ecosystem as well as its strong connection to power electronics technologies.


Alex Lidow is CEO and co-founder of Efficient Power Conversion Corporation (EPC). Since 1977 Dr. Lidow has been dedicated to making power conversion more efficient upon the belief that this will reduce the harm to our environment and increase the global standard of living.

Dr. Lidow served as CEO of International Rectifier for 12 years prior to founding EPC in 2007. Under his leadership, International Rectifier was named one of the best managed companies in America by Forbes magazine in 2005. Dr. Lidow recently received the 2015 SEMI Award for North America for the commercialization of more efficient power devices.

Dr. Lidow was one of the lead representatives of the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) for the trade negotiations that resulted in the U.S.-Japan Trade Accord of 1986 and testified to Congress many times on behalf of the industry.

Dr. Lidow holds many patents in power semiconductor technology, including basic patents in power MOSFETs as well as in GaN transistors and integrated circuits. His MOSFET patents received royalties exceeding $900M over their lifetime and International Rectifier, where he spent 30 years of his career, was the largest producer of these products until their merger with Infineon Technologies in January 2015. He has authored numerous peer reviewed publications on related subjects, and recently co-authored the first textbook on GaN transistors, "GaN Transistors for Efficient Power Conversion", now in its second edition published by John Wiley and Sons.

Dr. Lidow earned his Bachelor of Science in Applied Physics from Caltech in 1975, and his PhD in Applied Physics from Stanford in 1977 as a Fannie and John Hertz Foundation Fellow.

Since 1998 Dr. Lidow has been a member of the Board of Trustees of the California Institute of Technology, and has been the Chairman of the Compensation and Nominating Committees, and Vice Chair of the Investment Committee.