Laser Driver for Projectors

Highly Integrated, 250MHz, Triple-Channel, 1.2A RGB Laser Driver


The MAX3601 laser driver for pico projectors supports video imaging with red, blue, and green lasers. Each output includes two 8-bit digital-to-analog converters (DAC) with programmable gain and up to 400mA driving capability per channel. DAC A has a full-scale current up to 320mA while DAC B has full-scale current up to 80mA. All three channels can be combined into a single channel with up to 1.2A drive capability.

Maxim’s patented technology allows pulsed current to operate lasers efficiently while reducing speckle. This feature operates from the video data clock. The driver is available in a 3.0mm x 3.5mm, 42-bump wafer-level Package for commercial applications, and a 5mm x 5mm, 40-pin TQFN package for industrial and automotive applications.
MAX3601: Simplified Functional Diagram MAX3601: Simplified Functional Diagram Enlarge+

Key Features

  • Integrates Three Current-Output Laser Drivers
    • Compatible with Most Red, Blue, and Green Lasers
    • 8-Bit Video DACs, DC to 167MHz Operation
    • Patented Pulsing Feature Reduces Laser Speckling
    • 1ns Output Switching Time
    • Pulse Switching Speed Enhancer
  • Minimizes PCB Area With Functional Integration
    • SPI or I²C Serial Port Control
    • 1.8V to 3.3V Operation
    • 8-Bit Gain Adjustment
    • Programmable Pulse Current
    • 42-Bump WLP (3.0mm x 3.5mm) and 40-Pin TQFN (5mm x 5mm) Packages
    • Integrated Temperature Sensor
  • Low Power Requirements
    • < 80mW for Black Video Images
    • Output Disable Using Video Marker
    • Output Voltage Sensor
  • Laser Enable Function Supports Safety Compliance


  • High-Current LED or Laser Pulse Generator
  • Laser Light Source for LCOS Projectors
  • RGB Pico Laser Projector

Technical Documents

App Note 5860 Optimized Design for MEMS-Based Automotive Laser Pico Projectors

Quality and Environmental Data

Product Reliability Reports: MAX3601.pdf 
Lead-Free Package Tin (Sn) Whisker Reports

Related Resources