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Current sensing circuit concepts and fundamentals

Posted: 02 Aug 2010     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:current sensing circuit  sensing circuit concepts  circuit fundamentals 

Current sensing is a fundamental requirement in a wide range of electronic applications. Typical applications that benefit from current sensing include the following:

• Battery life indicators and chargers;
• Overcurrent protection and supervising circuits;
• Current and voltage regulators;
• DC/DC converters;
• Ground fault detectors;
• Linear and switch-mode power supplies;
• Proportional solenoid control, linear or PWM;
• Medical diagnostic equipment;
Handheld communications devices;
• Automotive power electronics;
• Motor speed controls and overload protection.

This application note focuses on the concepts and fundamentals of current sensing circuits. It introduces current sensing resistors, current sensing techniques and describes three typical high-side current sensing implementations, with their advantages and disadvantages. The other current sensing implementations are beyond the scope of this application note and reserved for subsequent Microchip Technology Incorporated's application notes.

View the PDF document for more information.

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