load switches with zero power MOSFETs

Posted on Feb 7, 2014

As circuit power-supply voltages decrease and green energy trends grow in popularity, designers should re-examine some of the circuits that continually consume power, in an effort to reduce overall system power consumption. One circuit that requires continuous voltage is the `normally-ON` circuit, and it is now possible to redesign this circuit wi

load switches with zero power MOSFETs
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th new components to reduce wasted energy. Low-voltage operation and ultra-low power consumption have become increasingly important as circuit-supply voltages decrease. Today`s portable consumer electronic designs conserve battery power and minimize battery drain by temporarily turning off unused parts of a system, by using a high-side load switch. Load switches are usually processor-controlled, and therefore must be CMOS-compatible. Power MOSFETs have become the primary switching element for high-side load-switch applications, and optimum performance is achieved when using a P-channel device. Many of these circuits are known as "normally-OFF" circuits, meaning they require the power supply to be on in order to operate. Increasingly, there is a trend to re-examine high-side load switches as one of the "generally-accepted, facts-of-life" type of circuits. Where conventional wisdom and tradition determine a way to build traditional circuits, high-side load switches are wasteful of energy. However, these circuits were tolerated because they wasted only small amounts of energy at a time. New green trends call for improvements in the efficiency of these types of applications by many orders of magnitude. Often this can be accomplished at incremental or no additional cost, and economical payback can be achieved across the operating life of the system. Recently, re-design efforts have boosted the energy efficiency of compact...

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