Low-power, bidirectional current sensing circuit



This low-power, low-side, bidirectional current sensing solution uses two nano-power, zero-drift amplifiers (LPV821) and one micro-power comparator with an integrated, precision reference (TLV3012). This circuit is well-suited for battery powered devices where charging current and system current need to be monitored accurately. The gain of U1 and U2 are set independently. As shown in the application circuit, the LPV821 amplifiers are connected out of phase across RSENSE to amplify the currents of opposite polarity. Amplifier U2 linearly amplifies the charging (positive) current while amplifier U1 linearly amplifies the system (negative) current. When U2 is monitoring the positive current, U1 drives its output to ground. Similarly, U2 drives its ouput to ground when U1 monitors the negative current. The amplifier outputs are ORed together with resistors R7 and R8 while U1 or U2 provide the ground reference creating a single output voltage for the comparator to monitor. If a regulated supply or reference is already available in the system, the TLV3012 can be replaced by a nano-power comparator such as the TLV7031. Moreover, if the charging current and system current have equal magnitudes, the gains of amplfier U1 and U2 can be set equal to each other. Even with the gains of the amplifiers being equal, ORing the amplifier outputs allows one comparator to detect overcurrent conditions for both charging and system current.
  • Overcurrent levels: I_IN = -0.1 A to 1.0 A
  • Supply:
    • V+ = 3.3 V
    • V- = 0 V
Precision op amps (Vos<1mV)
LPV821 650nA, Precision Zero-Drift Nanopower Amplifier TLV333 Single, 350-kHz, low-noise, RRIO, CMOS operational amplifier for cost-sensitive systems

Technical documentation

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Type Title Date
* Circuit design Low-power, bidirectional current-sensing circuit (Rev. A) Feb. 18, 2019
* Application note Advantages of using Nanopower Zero Drift Amp for Mobile Phone Battery Voltage Mo (Rev. A) Dec. 21, 2017
* Application note Current Sensing in No-Neutral Light Switches (Rev. A) Oct. 16, 2017
Application note GPIO Pins Power Signal Chain in Personal Electronics Running on Li-Ion Batteries Feb. 12, 2018

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