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OEM Laser Diode Controllers in SMT Packages


  • Compact, Highly Integrated Laser Diode Drivers
  • 14-Pin SMT Package Enables Quick Automated Assembly
  • Designed for OEM, Custom, and Embedded Systems
  • Volume Pricing Available

MLD203CHB

Constant Current & High Bandwidth

MLD203CLN

Constant Current & Low Noise

 MLDEVAL

Evaluation Board

MLD203P1

Constant Power for Pin Codes A, B, and F

MLD203P2

Constant Power for Pin Codes C and D

17.0 mm

10.0 mm

56.0 mm

100.0 mm

Related Items


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Feature Comparisona
Item # MLD203CHB MLD203CLN MLD203P1 MLD203P2
Key Features Constant Current & High Bandwidth Constant Current & Low Noise Constant Power Constant Power
Current Noise (RMS)
12 µA 3 µA 3 µA 3 µA
Modulation Bandwidth (3 dB)
DC to 100 kHz DC to 1 kHz N/A N/A
Laser Pin Codes
(Click for Diagram)
All (A through H) All (A through H) A, B, and F C and D
Data Sheet (Click for PDF) PDF PDF PDF PDF
  • See the Specs and Pin Diagrams tabs above for additional information.
Volume Pricing Discount
Contact Thorlabs

Volume Pricing and OEM Support

Thorlabs' production facilities are capable of manufacturing laser diode controllers in high volumes, and we pass the savings associated with planned production on to our customers. To learn more, please contact our OEM team. An OEM specialist will contact you within 24 hours or the next business day.

Features

  • Maximum of 200 mA Operating Current at 3 V Compliance Voltage
  • Optical Output Power can be Set by External Voltage, Fixed Resistor, or Variable Resistor
  • Soft Start and Brownout Protection to Protect Laser from Current Transients
  • Compact 17.0 mm × 10.0 mm × 2.8 mm Package Aids System Integration
  • Evaluation Board Available for Test Applications
  • Ideal for Small Assemblies that Use TO Can Laser Diodes, Diode Sockets, and Aspheric Lenses

These OEM-grade laser diode drivers are surface-mount devices (SMDs) that provide stable, low-noise drive current. They support a maximum operating current of 200 mA, a maximum compliance voltage of 3 V, and modulation bandwidths up to 100 kHz (see the table to the right). Each driver is contained within a 14-pin surface-mount technology (SMT) package that uses a 5 V supply voltage for operation. The compact 17.0 mm × 10.0 mm × 2.8 mm form factor uses plated half-hole connectors to allow easy surface mounting and electrical connections.

Our highly integrated drivers include soft start and brownout protection features that prevent fast, unexpected current transients from being sent to the laser diode. The operating setpoint of the driver is controlled by an applied voltage, allowing the laser's optical output power to be fixed at the time of assembly (via an external resistor) or adjustable (via an external control voltage or a variable resistor). Independent reference voltage outputs are included for the driver and the laser diode.

These drivers are offered in constant current and constant power models. The Feature Comparison table to the right summarizes the key differences between each model. Complete specifications are available in the Specs tab.

Evaluation Board
For customers interested in testing the performance characteristics of our drivers, we offer an evaluation board. This board contains a female DB9 connector and a screw terminal for laser diode connections, trimpots for selecting the operating setpoint of the driver, and a female SMA connector for modulation signals. Power is supplied via USB or an external 5 VDC source. Each of our drivers is available pre-mounted on a daughterboard that converts the 14-pin SMT layout of the driver to the mating sockets on the evaluation board.

Typical Applications
MLD203CHB and MLD203CLN Typical Application
Sample External Circuit for MLD203CHB and MLD203CLN Constant Current Drivers
MLD203P1 Typical Application
Sample External Circuit for MLD203P1 Constant Power LD Driver
with Laser Pin Code A

Evaluation Board

Item # MLDEVAL
Supply Voltage 5 VDC ± 5%
Operating Temperature 0 °C to +40 °C
Storage Temperature -40 °C to +70 °C
Dimensions 105.8 mm × 56.0 mm × 14.1 mm
Weight 40 g

Absolute Maximum Ratings (All Drivers)

Absolute Maximum Ratings
Supply Voltage 6 V
Power Dissipation 750 mW
Operating Temperature -25 °C to +90 °C
Storage Temperature -40 °C to +100 °C

Constant Current LD Drivers

Item # MLD203CHB(E) MLD203CLN(E) Notes
Operating Mode
Constant Current -
Laser Pin Codes
All (A through H) See Diagram Below
Supply Voltage 4.5 V to 5.5 V -
Laser Current
Current Range 0 mA to 200 mA -
Compliance Voltage 3.0 V (Max) For 5 V Supply Voltage
Accuracy ±(2% + 1 mA) [Typical] Full Scale; After 10 Minute Warm-Up
Repeatability ±0.1% Full Scale
Noise 12 µA (RMS) 3 µA (RMS) 10 Hz to 10 MHz;
Measured with a 10 Ω Resistor
Drift 20 µA 30 Minutes, 0 to 10 Hz, Tamb = 25 °C
Temperature Coefficient 100 ppm/°C -
Laser Current Setpoint and Modulation
Input Impedance 1 MΩ -
Input Voltage Range 0 V to 2.5 V -
Input Voltage Offset 90 mV (Typical) -
Modulation Bandwidth DC to 100 kHz DC to 1 kHz 3 dB; Measured with a 10 Ω Resistor
Modulation Coefficient 80 mA/V ± 5% -
Laser Current Reference Output
Laser Current Coefficient
1 mV/mA For 1 Ω Resistor in Series
Measurement Accuracy 1% For ≥10 kΩ Load
Physical Data
Operating Temperature -20 °C to +70 °C Non-Condensing
Storage Temperature
-40 °C to +100 °C Non-Condensing
Warm-Up Time for
Rated Accuracy
10 Minutes -
Dimensions of SMT Package
17.0 mm × 10.0 mm × 2.8 mm -
Dimensions of Daughterboard with SMT Package 38.0 mm × 19.0 mm × 12.9 mm MLD203CHBE and MLD203CLNE Only
Weight 1.0 g -

All technical data are valid at 23 ± 5 °C and 45 ± 15% relative humidity (non-condensing).

Constant Power LD Drivers

Item # MLD203P1(E) MLD203P2(E) Notes
Operating Mode
Constant Power -
Laser Pin Codes
A, B, and F C and D See Diagram Below
Supply Voltage 4.5 V to 5.5 V -
Laser Current
Current Range 0 mA to 200 mA -
Compliance Voltage 3.0 V (Max) For 5 V Supply Voltage
Noise 3 µA (RMS) 10 Hz to 10 MHz
Measured with 10 Ω Resistor in Series with L635P5 Laser Diode (for MLD203P1) or with L637P5 Laser Diode (for MLD203P2)
Laser Power Control
Current Range of
Monitor Photodiode
2 µA to 2 mA -
Accuracy ±2% (Typical) Full Scale; After 10 Minute Warm-Up
Repeatability ±0.1% Full Scale
Drift 20 nA 24 Hours, Tamb = 25 °C
Measured at P = 4.5 mW with L635P5 Laser Diode (for MLD203P1) or with L637P5 Laser Diode (for MLD203P2)
Temperature Coefficient 55 ppm/°C -
Laser Current Setpoint
Input Impedance 1 MΩ -
Input Voltage Range 0 V to 2.5 V -
Voltage Conversion Coefficient Range 8 µA/V to 800 µA/V ± 5% Adjustable
Laser Current Reference Output
Laser Current Coefficient 1 mV/mA For 1 Ω Resistor in Series
Measurement Accuracy 1% For ≥10 kΩ Load
Physical Data
Operating Temperature -20 °C to +70 °C Non-Condensing
Storage Temperature
-40 °C to +100 °C Non-Condensing
Warm-Up Time for
Rated Accuracy
10 Minutes -
Dimensions of SMT Package
17.0 mm × 10.0 mm × 2.8 mm -
Dimensions of Daughterboard with SMT Package 38.0 mm × 19.0 mm × 12.9 mm MLD203P1E and MLD203P2E Only
Weight 1.0 g -

All technical data are valid at 23 ± 5 °C and 45 ± 15% relative humidity (non-condensing).

Laser Diode Pin Codes

Pin Code Summary
All pin codes (A through H) are compatible with constant current operation. Pin codes A, B, C, D, and F
include monitor photodiodes, and are therefore also compatible with constant power operation.

Laser Diode Drivers

Pin Layout

MLD203 Pin Layout
These pin assignments correspond to viewing the driver from the top when the engraving on the driver is right-side up.

Land Pattern Data

Land Pattern

MLD203CHB & MLD203CLN Constant Current Drivers
Pin Name Description
1 VIN1 Supply Voltage Input 1
2 VIN2 Supply Voltage Input 2
3 GND1 Supply Voltage Ground
4 GND2 Return Pin (Ground) for Pin 6
5 VREFOUT Reference Output Voltage (+2.5 V)
6 ISET Input Voltage for Current Setpoint
IMOD Input Modulation Voltage
7 NC No Connection
8 NC No Connection
9 NC No Connection
10 NC No Connection
11 LDC Laser Diode Cathode
12 ISENS+ Reference Output Voltage for
Laser Diode Current
13 ISENS-
14 LDA Laser Diode Anode
MLD203P1 Constant Power Driver
Pin Name Description
1 VIN1 Supply Voltage Input 1
2 VIN2 Supply Voltage Input 2
3 GND1 Supply Voltage Ground
4 GND2 Return Pin (Ground) for Pin 6
5 VREFOUT Reference Output Voltage (+2.5 V)
6 PSET Input Voltage for Power Setpoint
7 NC No Connection
8 PDA Photodiode Anode
9 COMP2 Feedback Resistor; Used to Set Gain of Voltage-to-Voltage Amplifier
(See Chapter 3 of the Data Sheet)
10 COMP1
11 GND_LD Laser Diode Ground (Cathode)
12 ISENS+ Reference Output Voltage for
Laser Diode Current
13 ISENS-
14 LDA Laser Diode Anode
MLD203P2 Constant Power Driver
Pin Name Description
1 VIN1 Supply Voltage Input 1
2 VIN2 Supply Voltage Input 2
3 GND1 Supply Voltage Ground
4 GND2 Return Pin (Ground) for Pin 6
5 VREFOUT Reference Output Voltage (+2.5 V)
6 PSET Input Voltage for Power Setpoint
7 NC No Connection
8 PDC Photodiode Cathode
9 COMP2 Feedback Resistor; Used to Set Gain of Voltage-to-Voltage Amplifier
(See Chapter 3 of the Data Sheet)
10 COMP1
11 GND_LD Laser Diode Ground (Cathode)
12 ISENS+ Reference Output Voltage for
Laser Diode Current
13 ISENS-
14 LDA Laser Diode Anode

MLDEVAL Evaluation Board

Strain Relief Cable Connector

Female DB9 Connector

DB9 Female

DB9 Pina Laser Pin Code (Click for Diagram)
A B C D E F G H
1 No Connection
2 - - PD Cathode PD Cathode - - - -
3 LD Anode LD Cathode LD Cathode LD Anode LD Anode LD Anode LD Anode LD Cathode
4 PD Anode PD Anode - - - PD Anode - -
5 No Connection
6 No Connection
7 LD Cathode - - LD Cathode LD Cathode LD Cathode LD Cathode -
8 - LD Anode LD Anode - - - - LD Anode
9 No Connection
  • These pin assignments are valid when a laser of the specified pin code is connected and the SW2 and SW3 switches on the evaluation board are set to the positions that are engraved on the board, as shown in the photo below.

Modulation Input

Female SMA Connector

SMA Female

Input Voltage: 0 - 2.5 V
Input Impedance: 1 MΩ


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Posted Comments:
Poster:chaowenliang
Posted Date:2017-10-16 03:45:53.0
The MLD 3V compliance Voltage is too low for the Blue and UV diode. If you can raise it up to 8v, what's the maximum current available?
Poster:swick
Posted Date:2017-10-20 03:49:33.0
This is a response from Sebastian at Thorlabs. Thank you for the inquiry. We do not offer MLDs with compliance voltage of 8V. Alternatively you can use LDC202C, LDC205C or LDC210C which have compliance voltage of 10V.
Poster:ludoangot
Posted Date:2017-04-18 16:32:11.083
Would it be possible you consider making such a driver with the same efficient design and ease of use but with higher maximum current and compliance voltage?
Poster:swick
Posted Date:2017-04-19 03:11:04.0
This is a response from Sebastian at Thorlabs. Thank you for the feedback. We can modify our MLD modules for custom applications with different current and voltages ranges. I will contact you directly to discuss further details.
Poster:ludoangot
Posted Date:2016-09-23 12:14:49.8
Hello, can the drivers be used in a parallel configuration to increase the output current? And how does the circuit behaves when the compliance voltage is reached and exceeded?
Poster:cbrideau
Posted Date:2016-09-14 16:33:47.54
What enclosure does the MLDEVAL fit in?
Poster:swick
Posted Date:2016-09-15 05:41:39.0
This is a response from Sebastian at Thorlabs. Thank you very much for your feedback. We have developed this evaluation board to offer a multifunctional tool to test products of our MLD Series before a PCB has to be designed for integrating our modules into specific applications. Therefore the MLDEVAL is made for evaluation purposes. It provides rubber feet to ensure stable stand on a laboratory table without the need of extra housing. For OEM customers we can offer customized application boards, which fits perfectly to customized housings.
Poster:mitch
Posted Date:2016-08-28 07:02:00.877
Hi, this new product look extremely useful - thanks! I would like to use the constant power version with my own custom bias-T for analog modulation. Is this device compatible if I were to connect a bias-t (perhaps your one) between the LD and the GND_LD or LDA pin? I prefer to use type A laser diodes. Thanks
Poster:swick
Posted Date:2016-08-29 04:32:32.0
This is a response from Sebastian at Thorlabs. Thank you very much for your inquiry. Using a Bias-T with our Constant Power LD Driver (MLD203P1) will not work, because it would disturb the internal regulation of the output power. Modulation of MLD203P1 can be done by modulating P-Set(input) with approx. 1-50 kHz. With our Constant Current Drivers (MLD203CHB and MLD203CLN) it will work to use a Bias-T for modulation. I will contact you directly to discuss your application in more detail.
Poster:ludoangot
Posted Date:2016-08-25 12:00:59.203
Is there any limitation to using these to drive LED (providing the LED complies with the driver's specs)? Also, I totally second the previous comment. A blank or pre-soldered PCB for fast prototyping with these drivers would be very welcome. Ideally with the option to plug said PCB into common breadboards (0.1 in pitch).
Poster:swick
Posted Date:2016-08-25 03:11:58.0
This is a response from Sebastian at Thorlabs. Thank you very much for your inquiry. It will work to drive LEDs with MLD203CHB or MLD203CLN if all important parameters of the LEDs are due to the controller's specification. Most limiting factor for driving LEDs with MLDCxx modules will be the compliance voltage, which is typical 3 V. Regarding the PCB for fast prototyping, we will release an evaluation board during next weeks. Together with the evaluation board we will release the requested adapter plug with 0.1 in pitch pin headers for direct use in breadboards.
Poster:cbrideau
Posted Date:2016-08-17 14:14:42.88
A version of these pre-soldered on a break-out PCB with protoboard tinned holes sized to fit into one of the EEB enclosures would be very helpful for DIY assembly.
Poster:swick
Posted Date:2016-08-18 08:42:45.0
This is a response from Sebastian at Thorlabs. Thank you very much for your feedback. We will look into this, discuss your suggestion internally and contact you directly by email.
Poster:swick
Posted Date:2016-09-27 10:14:16.0
This is a response from Sebastian at Thorlabs. Thank you very much for your questions. The Constant Current Laser Drivers (MLD203CLN and MLD203CHB) can be paralleled to increase output current. For optimal load sharing an additional load resistor can be added. When the compliance voltage is exceeded the maximum output current will decrease.
Poster:swick
Posted Date:2016-10-05 08:38:16.0
This is a response from Sebastian at Thorlabs. Thank you very much for your inquiry. The Constant Current Laser Drivers (MLD203CLN and MLD203CHB) can be paralleled to increase output current. For optimal load sharing an additional load resistor can be added. When the compliance voltage is exceeded the maximum output current will decrease.

Laser Diode Drivers for OEMs

Laser Drivers in IC Tube
Click for Details

Upon request, large-quantity orders of our drivers can be delivered in an IC tube for simplified integration with assembly equipment.
  • Constant Current LD Drivers for All Pin Codes (A through H)
    • MLD203CHB: Optimized for High Modulation Bandwidth (Up to 100 kHz at 3 dB)
    • MLD203CLN: Optimized for Low Current Noise (3 µA RMS)
  • Constant Power LD Drivers
    • MLD203P1: For Pin Codes A, B, and F
    • MLD203P2: For Pin Codes C and D

Volume pricing is available for these laser diode drivers. To view our current price schedules, please click the "Volume Pricing" links located below.

Drivers compatible with the sockets on the MLDEVAL Evaluation Board are sold separately below.


Laser Diode Pin Codes

Based on your currency / country selection, your order will ship from Newton, New Jersey  
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Universal Price Available / Ships
MLD203CHB Support Documentation
MLD203CHBConstant Current LD Driver, SMT Package, High Bandwidth
$19.40
Volume Pricing
3-5 Days
MLD203CLN Support Documentation
MLD203CLNConstant Current LD Driver, SMT Package, Low Noise
$19.40
Volume Pricing
Today
MLD203P1 Support Documentation
MLD203P1Constant Power LD Driver, SMT Package, for Pin Codes A, B, and F
$19.40
Volume Pricing
Today
MLD203P2 Support Documentation
MLD203P2Constant Power LD Driver, SMT Package, for Pin Codes C and D
$19.40
Volume Pricing
Today

Evaluation Board and Laser Diode Drivers for Evaluation Board

Layout of MLD Evaluation Board
Click for Details

Top View and Functional Elements of
MLDEVAL Evaluation Board
Evaluation Board with Installed Driver
Click to Enlarge

Evaluation Board with MLD203CHBE Driver Installed
  • Evaluation Board for Test Applications with OEM Laser Diode Drivers
    • Female DB9 Connector and Screw Terminal for a Laser Diode
    • USB Connector and Screw Terminal for 5 VDC Power
    • Trimpots Control Operating Setpoint of Laser Diode
    • SMA Connector for Modulation Signal Input
  • Laser Diode Drivers Designed to Mount onto Evaluation Board

Evaluation Board
The MLDEVAL Evaluation Board is a break-out board that interfaces our OEM-grade laser diode drivers with several common connectors. It includes a female DB9 connector that accepts laser diodes connected to a strain relief cable, as well as a screw terminal which the user may wire directly to a TO can laser diode. Power can be supplied either via USB or through a screw terminal that accepts a 5 VDC power supply.

Two trimpots control the operating setpoint of the laser diode. The Pset/Iset trimpot tunes the laser current from 0 mA to 200 mA and is used with both constant current and constant power drivers. The TIA Gain trimpot sets the limit of the monitor diode's current and is therefore only used with constant power drivers. To allow remote modulation of the laser's optical output power, a female SMA connector accepts an applied voltage (see the Specs tab for operating parameters).

The board's overall dimensions are 105.8 mm × 56.0 mm × 14.1 mm, including the female DB9 connector. Four Ø3.2 mm through holes are located at the corners for use in custom mounting.

Laser Diode Drivers for use with Evaluation Board
Our OEM-grade laser diode drivers contain plated half-hole connectors that are intended for installation by automated assembly systems. For ease of installation with the MLDEVAL evaluation board, each driver is available pre-mounted on a daughterboard. This daughterboard is installed by inserting it into mating sockets on the evaluation board, allowing these drivers to be quickly deployed in laboratory and test environments.

Prior to installing the driver, several switches on the evaluation board will need to be set to the correct positions, depending upon the selected driver and the pin code of the laser. The correct positions are detailed in chapters 4 and 5 of the evaluation board's manual. Some of these switches are not to be changed once the driver is chosen, and are hence not accessible while the driver is installed.

Based on your currency / country selection, your order will ship from Newton, New Jersey  
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Universal Price Available / Ships
MLDEVAL Support Documentation
MLDEVALEvaluation Board for MLD203xE Laser Diode Drivers
$123.00
Today
MLD203CHBE Support Documentation
MLD203CHBEConstant Current LD Driver, on Daughterboard, High Bandwidth
$26.75
Today
MLD203CLNE Support Documentation
MLD203CLNEConstant Current LD Driver, on Daughterboard, Low Noise
$26.75
Today
MLD203P1E Support Documentation
MLD203P1EConstant Power LD Driver, on Daughterboard, for Pin Codes A, B, and F
$26.75
Today
MLD203P2E Support Documentation
MLD203P2EConstant Power LD Driver, on Daughterboard, for Pin Codes C and D
$26.75
Today
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