A new laser diode driver, iC-HT, from iC Haus (Bodenheim, Germany) permits microcontroller-based activation of laser diodes in CW mode. With this device, laser diodes can be driven by either the optical output power (using APC), the laser diode current (using ACC), or a full, controller-based power control unit. The maximum laser diode current per channel is 750 mA. Both channels can be switched in parallel for particularly high laser diode currents of up to 1.5 A. A current limit can also be configured for each channel.

iC-HT works on supply voltages of 2.8V to 8V and can thus drive both blue and green laser diodes. Operating temperatures range from -40°C to +125°C. The device is housed in a 28-pin QFN package measuring 5 x 5 mm. Internal operating points and voltages can be output through analog/digital converters. The integrated temperature sensor permits the system temperature to be monitored and can also be used to check for feedback in the control circuit. Logarithmic digital/analog converters allow optimum power regulation across a large dynamic range enabling a variety of laser diodes to be used.

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