155Mbps to 2.5Gbps Burst-Mode Laser Driver

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The MAX3656 is a burst-mode laser driver that operates at data rates from 155Mbps up to 2.5Gbps. The laser driver accepts either positive-referenced emitter-coupled logic (PECL) or current-mode logic (CML) data inputs and provides bias and modulation current for the laser diode. The device can switch the laser diode from a completely dark (off) condition to a full (on) condition (with proper bias and modulation currents) in less than 2ns. The MAX3656 incorporates DC-coupling between laser driver and laser diode and operates with a single-supply voltage as low as +3.0V.

A digital automatic power-control (APC) loop is provided to maintain the average optical power over the full temperature range and lifetime. The APC loop is functional for a minimum burst on-time of 576ns and minimum burst off-time of 96ns, with no limit on the maximum burst on- or off-time. A fail monitor is provided to indicate when the APC loop can no longer maintain the average power. The MAX3656 can be configured for nonburst-mode applications (continuous mode) by connecting burst enable (BEN) high. For power saving, the MAX3656 provides enabling and disabling functionality. The modulation current can be set from 10mA to 85mA and the bias current can be set from 1mA to 70mA.

The MAX3656 is packaged in a small, 24-pin, 4mm x 4mm thin QFN package and consumes only 132mW (typ), excluding bias and modulation currents.
MAX3656: Typical Application Circuit MAX3656: Typical Application Circuit Enlarge+

Key Features

  • Multirate Operation from 155Mbps to 2.5Gbps
  • Burst Enable/Disable Delay < 2ns
  • Burst On-Time of 576ns to Infinity
  • Infinite Bias-Current Hold Time Between Bursts
  • DC-Coupled Operation with Single +3.3V Power Supply
  • 40mA Typical Supply Current
  • Programmable Bias Current from 1mA to 70mA
  • Programmable Modulation Current from 10mA to 85mA
  • Automatic Average Power Control with Failure Monitor (No CAPC Capacitor Needed)
  • APC Loop Initialization ≤ 3 Bursts


  • APON, EPON, and GPON Upstream Transmitters
  • Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) and Fiber-to-the-Business (FTTB) Broadband Access Systems
  • Passive Optical Network (PON) Transmitters
Product Reliability Reports: MAX3656.pdf 
Device   Fab Process   Technology   Sample size   Rejects   FIT at 25°C   FIT at 55°C   Material Composition  

Note : The failure rates are summarized by technology and mapped to the associated material part numbers. The failure rates are highly dependent on the number of units tested.

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