Switched on

Five new p-channel load switches, the industry’s first such devices designed to offer low on-resistance at a 1.5-V gate drive, were released yesterday by Vishay Intertechnology.

To help minimise power consumption and increase battery life, many of the ASICs found in portable electronics systems are designed to operate at core supply voltages between 1.5 and 1.65 V.

Until now, however, the lack of power MOSFETs with guaranteed turn-on operation below 1.8 V has made it difficult for designers to take advantage of these low core supply voltages without the use of level-shifting circuitry, which adds complexity while increasing power consumption.

Vishay says it addresses this problem with the breakthrough power MOSFETs released this week, which are the industry’s first that can work directly from 1.5-V core supply voltages with on-resistance as low as 45 milliohms.

With their low threshold voltage and guaranteed specifications at a 1.5-V gate drive, the new devices reportedly eliminate the need for level-shifting circuitry and maximise the power-saving benefits of low operating voltages in battery-operated systems.

The five power MOSFETs include two devices in the LITTLE FOOT TSOP-6 with 20-V (Si3495DV) and -8-V (Si3499DV) drain to-source breakdown voltages and on-resistance ratings at a 1.5-V gate drive of 47 milliohms and 45 milliohms respectively.

Three additional devices being released, the -8-V Si8419DB, Si5499DC, and Si1499DH, are available in the MICRO FOOT, 1206-8 ChipFET, and SC-70 packages, respectively. Like the new LITTLE FOOT devices, they are rated for a 1.5-V gate drive.

With their compact package designs, they also reduce footprint area and enable more flexible end-system design.