Adjustable-gain, current-output, high-side current-sensing circuit



This circuit demonstrates how to convert a voltage-output, current sense amplifier (CSA) into a current-output circuit using an operational amplifier (op amp) and a current-setting resistor (RSET). Taking advantage of the matched internal resistor gain network of the current sense amplifier, this circuit utilizes the Howland Current Pump method to create a current source that is proportional to the sense current. The overall circuit gain is adjustable by changing the load resistor value (ROUT). Additionally, multiple circuits can be summed together to determine total current from multiple sources.
  • Input:
    • Iload = 1 A to 10 A
    • Vcm = 12 V
  • Output:
    • Iout =  88.3 µA to 883 µA
    • Bandwith = 200 kHz
  • Error:
    • at Iload min = 2.2% maximum
    • 0.3% typical
  • Supply:
    • Iq = 260 + 750 µA
    • Vs = 5V, Vee = 0 V
Analog current-sense amplifiers
INA185 26-V, 350-kHz, bi-directional, high-precision current sense amplifier in ultra-small SOT-563 package
General-purpose op amps
TLV9061 Single, 5.5-V, 10-MHz, RRIO operational amplifier for cost-optimized applications
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Technical documentation

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Type Title Date
* Circuit design Adjustable-gain, current-output, high-side current-sensing circuit 09 Aug 2019
* Application note AN-1515 A Comprehensive Study of the Howland Current Pump (Rev. A) 26 Apr 2013
E-book An Engineer's Guide to Current Sensing (Rev. B) 12 Apr 2022
Application note Using An Op Amp for High-Side Current Sensing (Rev. A) PDF | HTML 07 Dec 2021
Selection guide Current Sense Amplifiers (Rev. E) 20 Sep 2021
E-book Simplifying Current Sensing (Rev. A) 09 Jan 2020

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