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Reducing the natural current limit in a power MOS device by reducing the gate-source voltage

Image Number 3 for United States Patent #5541799.

In accordance with the present invention, an output current limit circuit for protecting a power MOS output device of an integrated circuit from an excessive drain current comprises a power MOS device 110, a means 30 to sense a predetermined trigger current, and a means 20 to reduce a gate-source voltage on MOS output device 110 to a predetermined approximately fixed value. A drain current I.sub.D flows through power MOS device 110 from output terminal 102 in response to the gate-source voltage. A short circuit condition may allow an excessive amount of drain current I.sub.D to flow through output terminal 102. The gate-source voltage is reduced in response to sensing the trigger current. Reducing the gate-source voltage raises a drain-source resistance of MOS device 110 and reduces drain current I.sub.D so that MOS device 110 is not damaged by the short circuit condition.

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