Load switches are electronic relays, used to turn-on and turn-off voltage supply in the electric power generating systems. A load switch is comprised of two main elements: the pass transistor and the on/off control block. Load switches offer many other benefits to the system and can include protection features that is often difficult to implement. There are many different applications for high voltage load switches which include power distribution, power sequencing, and power state transition, reduces current leakage in standby mode, inrush current control, and controlled power down. Basic high voltage load switches consist of four pins for input voltage, output voltage, enabler, and ground (earthing). When the device is enabled via the ON pin, the pass FET (field effect transistor) switches on, thereby allowing current to flow from the input pin to the output pin. Power is thus passed to the downstream circuitry.
The load switch is organized by the circuitry system and connects or disconnects a voltage rail to a specific load. When the unused circuitry is turned-off, the system as a whole can run more efficiently. The load switch offers a simple means to power a load, when it is in demand, and allows the system to maximize its performance. Load switches provide an inexpensive method for high voltage circuitry system to make required management of power output. This power management is based on the existing peripherals and sub-circuits currently in use.
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In terms of type of high voltage load switches, the high voltage load switch market is segmented into oil-immersed and vacuum load switches. There are different kinds of load switches available. Common types are categorized by polarity, maximum voltage, maximum on-state resistance, maximum rated current, packaging type, and number of elements. These common types are broadly categorized into the medium where they are put in, either liquid lubricant medium or vacuum based medium.
In terms of application, the high voltage load switch market is segregated into telecommunication equipment, computer equipment and peripherals, automotive motor controls, power plants, power sub-stations, mining, and others (security systems, among others). A load switch is an electronic component that works like a relay; however, it does not have any moving parts. Two MOSFET (metal oxide semiconductor field effect transistor) act like a switch element. One of the transistors is an N-channel device, whereas the other transistor is a P-channel device. Load switches can also be used to open and close the connection between the power rail and corresponding load. These integrated devices have several features while they are enabled, disabled, or even switching between the two states.
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Key players operating in the high voltage load switch market are ABB, Inc., GE Grid Solutions, Eaton, G&W Electric Company, S&C Electric Company, Siemens Industry, Inc., Toshiba International Corporation, and Ceaveland, Inc