+3.0V to +5.5V, 2.5Gbps VCSEL and Laser Driver

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The MAX3996 is a high-speed laser driver for small-form-factor (SFF) fiber optic LAN transmitters. It contains a bias generator, a laser modulator, and comprehensive safety features. Automatic power control (APC) adjusts the laser bias current to maintain average optical power, regardless of changes in temperature or laser properties. The driver accommodates common anode or differential laser configurations. The output current range of the MAX3996 is appropriate for VCSELs and high-efficiency edge-emitting lasers.

The MAX3996 operates up to 3.2Gbps. It can switch up to 30mA of laser modulation current and sink up to 60mA bias current. Adjustable temperature compensation is provided to keep the optical extinction ratio within specifications over the operating temperature range. The MAX3996 accommodates various laser packages, including low-cost TO-46 headers. Low deterministic jitter (9psP-P), combined with fast edge transitions, (65ps) provides excellent margins compared to industry-standard transmitter eye masks.

This laser driver provides extensive safety features to guarantee single-point fault tolerance. Safety features include a transmit disable, redundant shutdown, and laser-bias monitoring. The safety circuit detects faults that could cause hazardous light levels and immediately disables the laser output. The MAX3996 safety circuits are compliant with SFF and small-form-factor pluggable (SFP) multisource agreements (MSA).

The MAX3996 is available in a compact 4mm x 4mm, 20-pin QFN package and a 20-pin thin QFN package. It operates over a temperature range of 0°C to +70°.
MAX3996: Typical Application Circuit MAX3996: Typical Application Circuit Enlarge+

Key Features

  • 9psP-P Deterministic Jitter
  • 20-Pin QFN 4mm x 4mm Package
  • 3.0V to 5.5V Supply Voltage
  • Automatic Power Control
  • Integrated Safety Circuits
  • 30mA Laser Modulation Current
  • Temperature Compensation of Modulation Current
  • Compliant with SFF and SFP MSA


  • 10-Gigabit Ethernet WWDM
  • ATM LAN Optical Transmitters
  • Fibre Channel Optical Transmitters
  • Gigabit Ethernet Optical Transmitters
  • VCSEL Transmitters

See parametric specs for Laser Drivers (19)

Part NumberTarget Oper. Range
Data Rate
Data Rate
(min)(max)(max)(max)(See Notes)
MAX3996 1 to 4.510003125
$3.33 @1k

Pricing Notes:
This pricing is BUDGETARY, for comparing similar parts. Prices are in U.S. dollars and subject to change. Quantity pricing may vary substantially and international prices may differ due to local duties, taxes, fees, and exchange rates. For volume-specific and version-specific prices and delivery, please see the price and availability page or contact an authorized distributor.

MAX3996EVKIT: Evaluation Kit for the MAX3996
Product Reliability Reports: MAX3996.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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