MOSFET Relays: Key Components In The Densification And Efficiency Of Electronics | Engineers' Insight | Avnet Abacus

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MOSFET Relays: Key Components In The Densification And Efficiency Of Electronics | Engineers' Insight | Avnet Abacus

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MOSFET relays: Key components in the densification and efficiency of electronics

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Traditional electromagnetic relays, (EMRs), are still popular choices for certain applications, particularly where high-power switching is required. But the characteristics of solid-state relays (SSRs), particularly MOSFET types, mean they are being employed in a growing range of applications. With the exponential growth of the IoT and the arrival of 5G networks driving a trend towards more powerful devices with shrinking form factors, engineers must fit more functionality into less space and find ways of improving switching speeds and power efficiencies. Certain key components in the modern IT infrastructure such as DC-DC converters and switching power supplies present specific design challenges which the characteristics of MOSFET relays can help to address. We look more closely at the MOSFET relay to understand how its characteristics are well suited to a number of key applications.
 

The MOSFET relay: A circuit rather than a switch

MOSFETs are actually electronic circuits, rather than relays, comprising an LED on the input side and a photodiode dome array (PDA), control circuit and FET block on the output side (Figure 1).

Figure 1: MOSFET block diagram

Within the MOSFET relay, the input driver circuit (1) causes current to flow through the LED, turning it on, and the light from the LED (2) is then converted to voltage by the PDA. (3) The PDA output voltage drives the MOSFET output block via a control circuit and the output block, which contains a double MOSFET, allows both AC and DC loads to pass in either direction.

With no moving parts, (unlike EMRs), MOSFET relays can withstand physical shock and vibration and will perform indefinitely when properly used, operating silently with very little electrical interference. The devices can handle a wide range of input voltages, consuming little power and there is no arcing during operation, making them suitable for hazardous environments. The inherent design of the MOSFET relay minimises surge currents and enables switching of both AC and DC signals. As well as their low power consumption, MOSFET relays are considerably smaller than their EMR counterparts, using less space on the PCB.
 

Characteristic Implication
Low output capacitance Improved switching times and isolation characteristics for high frequency load signals
Low on-resistance Reduced power dissipation when switching high currents and increased switching speeds
Physical isolation (galvanic separation) Physical isolation between the relay’s input and output or between different output channels enhances precision by minimising noise. Optically isolated relays offer a physical separation of input and output, with minimal leakage and isolation voltages as high as 5,000 volts AC.
High linearity MOSFET relays have a straight-line relationship between load current and load voltage, almost as good as EMR, ensuring no signal distortion. This characteristic also enables MOSFET relays to switch analogue and low-level signals.
Reliability With no moving parts, MOSFET relays have excellent an excellent failures in time (FIT) rate and are resistant to shock and vibration. MOSFET relays also eliminate the buzzing that can affect electromechanical relays driven by PWM and other methods intended to conserve input power.
Low operating cost Although higher-priced than EMR equivalents, their longer lifecycles and lower power consumption lead to lower overall operating costs for MOSFET relays.
Space saving MOSFET relays are considerably smaller than their EMR equivalents, offering up to a 95% space saving on the PCB.

Table 1: Summary of MOSFET relay characteristics
 

Typical applications for MOSFET relays

MOSFET relays are ideal for a wide range of applications, including automated test equipment, (ATE), medical equipment, security equipment, amusement equipment, factory automation, telecommunications, energy-related equipment and many more. The tables below provide an illustrative overview of how the characteristics of Omron’s MOSFET relay family benefit the design of a selection of applications, and the rest of this section examines a subset of these applications in more detail.

Security equipment

Smoke detectors, home security panels, PIR, video intercom systems
Function Features Recommended products
Status output
Signal output
General purpose G3VM-61VY3
G3VM-351VY
Ultrasensitive G3VM-61G2
1b (SPST-NC) G3VM-63G
G3VM-353G
Switching power supply of small solenoid valve, small motor external output High current G3VM-61VR
G3VM-61CR1/FR1
G3VM-201CR/FR
G3VM-601CR/FR
High dielectric strength G3VM-61AY1/DY1
G3VM-351AY1/DY1

Communication equipment 

Modems, fax machines, network devices, PNX transfer devices
Function Features Recommended products
Short-circuit line switching General purpose G3VM-61VY3
G3VM-351VY
Line switching 1b (SPST-NC) G3VM-63G
G3VM-353G

Entertainment equipment 

Currency sensing modules, coin dispensers, information systems
Function Features Recommended products
Status output
Signal output
General purpose G3VM-61VY3
G3VM-351VY
1b (SPST-NC) G3VM-63G
G3VM-353G

 

Automatic test equipment (ATE)

Semiconductor devices continue to become more complex and ever faster, challenging the designers of automatic test and measurement technology, who must incorporate higher numbers of test channels into their equipment in order to meet market demands for reduced testing time and improved efficiency. The low capacitance of MOSFET relays improves switching times and isolation characteristics for high frequency load signals. Their low on-resistance reduces power dissipation when switching high currents and increases switching speeds to improve measurement precision. Offering physical separation of input and output with minimal leakage, MOSFET relays also enhance measurement precision by reducing noise and their high linearity also contributes to measurement accuracy.

Function Features Recommended products
Switching test signal Low C x R G3VM-21UR1/UR10/UR11
G3VM-41UR10/UR11/UR12
G3VM-41QR10
G3VM-51UR
G3VM-61QR
Small and high-load -voltage G3VM-61UR1
High current G3VM-31QR
Switching power supply High current G3VM-31QR
G3VM-61QR2
G3VM-101QR1

 

Factory/industrial equipment

The Industry 4.0 smart factory leverages IoT technology and increased levels of automation to achieve cost-effective, flexible production capabilities. The factory environment is typically hostile to electronic equipment, however, and the high tolerance to physical shock and EMI of MOSFET relays make them ideal for the switching and protection of small motors, power supplies and control devices, with load currents up to 10 amps.

Function Features Recommended products
Status output
Signal output
General purporse G3VM-61VY3
G3VM-61A1/D1
G3VM-351VY
G3VM-351A/D
Switching power supply of small solenoid valve, small motor external output High current G3VM-61VR
G3VM-61CR1/FR1
G3VM-201CR/FR
G3VM-601CR/FR
High dielectric strength G3VM-61AY1/DY1
G3VM-351AY1/DY1

 

Energy-related equipment

Efficiency and densification are two important mega-trends within electronics, not least within the design of switching power supplies. The small form factors of MOSFET relays enable designers to reduce space on the PCB, their reduced output capacitance supports the high-speed switching requirements of modern power supply designs and their lower on-resistance contributes to cost savings through simpler heat management. Also, along with their low-power consumption, the improved noise performance of MOSFET relays contributes to the reduction of electromagnetic noise emission in high-end power supplies for equipment such as LCD TVs, LED lighting, medical power supplies and notebook power adapters.
 

Function Features Recommended products
External communications
Charge voltage monitoring
High dielectric strength G3VM-61AY1/DY1
G3VM-351AY1/DY1
G3VM-601AY1/DY1
General purpose G3VM-61VY3
G3VM-351VY
Storage battery charging High current G3VM-61CR1/FR1

 

Omron MOSFET relay product line

A global leader in the fields of industrial automation, electronic component industries and healthcare, Omron Corporation provides a variety of products and services, including a range of MOSFETs that set the benchmark for Solid State Relays. Manufactured using the latest advances in automated production and including a variety of improved construction technologies within the areas of LED, PDA and FET chips, Omron’s G3VM MOSFET relay family includes up to 200 devices that handle a wide range of voltages and currents (Figure 3). Options include current limiting, high-dielectric-voltage withstand, normally open and normally closed contact forms, and high-speed switching.

The key features of Omron’s G3VM MOSFET relay family include:

  • A wide range of packages: DIP, SOP, SSOP, USOP, VSON, and S-VSON
  • S-VSON package is the smallest in the industry: 2 x 1.45 x 1.65 mm
  • Single- and dual-contact models available with both NO and NC contacts
  • ON-resistance as low as 5 mΩ (typical)
  • OFF-state capacitance as low as 0.3 pF (typical)
  • Trigger LED forward currents as low as 0.2 mA
  • Switching times down to 0.2 ms
  • Models including current limiting functions also available
  • 100,000 hours of continuous operation
  • Dielectric strength up to 5,000 Vac for 1 second
  • Models switching up to 10 A* in such a small package
     

Reference table for Omron's relay rangeFigure 3: Omron's MOSFET relay product range

Conclusion

In a world where densification and efficiency are driving the design of electronic devices and systems, the characteristics of MOSFET relays are responsible for their incorporation in a growing range of applications. As a global leader in electronic components, Omron’s G3VM MOSFET relay range sets the standard. To find out more about the range, download datasheets, and purchase pilot samples click below. Alternatively, if you have specific requirements and would like to discuss your design in detail, click the Ask an Expert button to get in touch with one of our technical specialists in your local language.

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MOSFET Relays: Key Components In The Densification And Efficiency Of Electronics | Engineers' Insight | Avnet Abacus

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MOSFET Relays: Key Components In The Densification And Efficiency Of Electronics | Engineers' Insight | Avnet Abacus

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MOSFET Relays: Key Components In The Densification And Efficiency Of Electronics | Engineers' Insight | Avnet Abacus

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