New Laser Power Sensors Eliminate Need for a Stand Alone Meter

The new PowerMax™ USB/RS sensors from Coherent Inc. (Santa Clara, CA) (Nasdaq: COHR) are the world’s first laser power sensors that utilizes state of the art microelectronics miniaturization techniques and integrate an entire instrument within a USB 2.0  or RS-232 cable connector.  Specifically, PowerMax USB/RS sensors have all the signal processing and power measurement electronics normally contained in a LabMax meter, and connects directly to a PC with plug and play functionality.  Ideally suited for low and high volume embedded sensor applications, this new family of sensors eliminates the need for a separate meter box, thus delivering a significant savings in cost and space, but with no reduction whatsoever in performance.

Coherent USBRS Power SensorsCoherent’s PowerMax PC applications software provides a virtual instrument interface for these sensors that enables the operator to take laser power readings, log data and compute measurement statistics.  Users can also write their own software using host interface commands that control all aspects of power meter operation.

The PowerMax USB/RS product lines currently include a range of thermopile sensors, as well as one semiconductor photodiode based detector.  Together, these sensors enable accurate laser power measurement from the deep ultraviolet to the infrared (190 nm to 11 µm), over a power range extending from microwatts to kilowatts.

These new PowerMax products will benefit a wide range of users.  These include OEMs who want to embed power measurement electronics within their own instrumentation, field service engineers who already carry a laptop computer, and operators of computer controlled laser burn-in racks and long-term reliability test benches.  In addition, PowerMax USB and RS sensors are useful for general laboratory applications in which experimental data acquisition is performed from a central PC.


Founded in 1966, Coherent, Inc. is a Russell 2000 Index company and a world leader in providing laser-based solutions to the commercial and scientific research markets. Please direct any questions to Sean Bergman, product manager, at (503) 454-5785.  For more information about Coherent, including product and financial updates, visit our website at

Contacts Sean Bergman
Coherent, Inc.
(503) 454-5785
David Kuntz
Technical Marketing Services
(310) 377-5393
About the Author
Steven Glover is a proud member of the LIA staff. When he is not at work he is actively involved in several charitable efforts.
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