Created by
Created June 15, 2019
Last modified June 16, 2019
Tags driver   mosfet   pwm  


Driver for IRF540 MOSFET that permits fast PWM of 12V load (LED strip) via 3.3V PWM control signal. Hopefully.


4th revision of circuit for this stackexchange question. Active push/pull driver for MOSFET. Improves on this active/passive design.

This stack exchange post sets out most of the needed design.

The general idea is that the totem pole configuration allows switching of a 12V signal with a 3.3V control input. Then the PNP/NPN transistor pair ensure fast pullup/pushdown of gate voltage based on that signal.

Without the totem pole layout the active pullup/pushdown pair would get a max base voltage of 3.3V which won't suffice when there's 12V on the other side.

Next I plan to see whether I can simplify it with a 555 timer IC.

A sensible person would've used an off-the-shelf PWM-capable MOSFET driver IC.


I'm just learning but I studied your circuit and I believe Q14, Q15, Q16 will exceed their gate voltages. If you can spare some +3.3v or +5v to that half of the circuit I think you'll have a good circuit.

by goatpi
December 16, 2020

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