The EasyGate1541 was previously only available for the “old” 1541. The later 1541-II got another gate array from Commodore, which has even more functionalities integrated. It was about time that an alternative was created.
There are actually only a few components in the Commodore 1541 drive that like to die. The gate array, UC1 or MOS 325572-01 is one of them. And replacements are not cheap. But you can also build a replacement yourself.