Electronics Using the high-low side driver IR2110 - explanation and plenty of example circuits

Circuit Using the high-low side driver IR2110 - explanation and plenty of example circuits schematics Circuit Electronics,
In many situations, we need to use MOSFETs configured as high-side switches. Many a times we need to use MOSFETs configured as high-side and low-side switches. Such as in bridge circuits. In half-bridge circuits, we have 1 high-side MOSFET and 1 low-side MOSFET. In full-bridge circuits we have 2 high-side MOSFETs and 2 low-side MOSFETs. In such situations, there is a need to use high-side drive circuitry alongside low-side drive circuitry. The most common way of driving MOSFETs in such cases is to use high-low side MOSFET drivers. Undoubtedly, the most popular such driver chip is the IR2110. And in this article/tutorial, I will talk about the IR2110.

You can download the IR2110 datasheet from the IR website. Here's the download link:

First let’s take a look at the block diagram and the pin assignments and pin definitions (also called lead assignments and lead definitions):

Fig. 1 - IR2110 block diagram (click on image to enlarge)

 Fig. 2 - IR2110 Pin/Lead Assignments (click on image to enlarge)

Fig. 3 - IR2110 Pin/Lead Definitions (click on image to enlarge)

Notice that the IR2110 comes in two packages – 14 pin through-hole PDIP package and the 16-pin surface mount SOIC package.

Now let's talk about the different pins.

VCC is the low-side supply and should be between 10V and 20V. VDD is the logic supply to the IR2110. It can be between +3V to +20V (with reference to VSS). The actual voltage you choose to use depends on the voltage level of your input signals. Here’s the chart:

Fig. 4 - IR2110 Logic "1" Input Threshold vs VDD (click on image to enlarge)

It is common practice to use VDD = +5V. When VDD = +5V, the logic 1 input threshold is slightly higher than 3V. Thus when VDD = +5V, the IR2110 can be used to drive loads when input “1” is higher than 3 point something volts. This means that it can be used for almost all circuits, since most circuits tend to have around 5V outputs. When you’re using microcontrollers the output voltage will be higher than 4V (when the microcontroller has VDD = +5V, which is quite common). When you’re using SG3525 or TL494 or other PWM controller, you are probably going to have them powered off greater than 10V, meaning the outputs will be higher than 8V when high. So, the IR2110 can be easily used.

You may lower the VDD down to about 4V if you’re using a microcontroller or any chip that gives output of 3.3V (eg dsPIC33). While designing circuits with the IR2110, I had noticed that sometimes the circuit didn’t work properly when IR2110 VDD was selected as less than +4V. So, I do not recommend using VDD less than +4V.

In most of my circuits, I do not have signal levels which have voltages less than 4V as high and so I use VDD = +5V.

If for some reason, you have signals levels with logic “1” having lower than 3V, you will need a level converter / translator that will boost the voltage to acceptable limits. In such situations, I recommend boosting up to 4V or 5V and using IR2110 VDD = +5V.

Now let’s talk about VSS and COM. VSS is the logic supply ground. COM is “low side return” – basically, low side drive ground connection. It seems that they are independent and you might think you could perhaps isolate the drive outputs and drive signals. However, you’d be wrong. While they are not internally connected, IR2110 is a non-isolated driver, meaning that VSS and COM should both be connected to ground.

HIN and LIN are the logic inputs. A high signal to HIN means that you want to drive the high-side MOSFET, meaning a high output is provided on HO. A low signal to HIN means that you want to turn off the high-side MOSFET, meaning a low output is provided on HO. The output to HO – high or low – is not with respect to ground, but with respect to VS. We will soon see how a bootstrap circuitry (diode + capacitor) – utilizing VCC, VB and VS – is used to provide the floating supply to drive the MOSFET. VS is the high side floating supply return. When high, the level on HO is equal to the level on VB, with respect to VS. When low, the level on HO is equal to VS, with respect to VS, effectively zero.

A high signal to LIN means that you want to drive the low-side MOSFET, meaning a high output is provided on LO. A low signal to LIN means that you want to turn off the low-side MOSFET, meaning a low output is provided on LO. The output on LO is with respect to ground. When high, the level on LO is equal to the level of VCC, with respect to VSS, effectively ground. When low, the level on LO is equal to the level on VSS, with respect to VSS, effectively zero.

SD is used as shutdown control. When this pin is low, IR2110 is enabled – shutdown function is disabled. When this pin is high, the outputs are turned off, disabling the IR2110 drive.

Now let’s take a look at the common IR2110 configuration for driving MOSFETs in both high and low side configurations – a half bridge stage.

 Fig. 5 - Basic IR2110 circuit for driving half-bridge (click on image to enlarge)

D1, C1 and C2 along with the IR2110 form the bootstrap circuitry. When LIN = 1 and Q2 is on, C1 and C2 get charged to the level on VB, which is one diode drop below +VCC. When LIN = 0 and HIN = 1, this charge on the C1 and C2 is used to add the extra voltage – VB in this case – above the source level of Q1 to drive the Q1 in high-side configuration. A large enough capacitance must be chosen for C1 so that it can supply the charge required to keep Q1 on for all the time. C1 must also not be too large that charging is too slow and the voltage level does not rise sufficiently to keep the MOSFET on. The higher the on time, the higher the required capacitance. Thus, the lower the frequency, the higher the required capacitance for C1. The higher the duty cycle, the higher the required capacitance for C1. Yes, there are formulae available for calculating the capacitance. However, there are many parameters involved, some of which we may not know – for example, the capacitor leakage current. So, I just estimate the required capacitance. For low frequencies such as 50Hz, I use between 47µF and 68µF capacitance. For high frequencies like 30kHz to 50kHz, I use between 4.7µF and 22µF. Since we’re using an electrolytic capacitor, a ceramic capacitor should be used in parallel with this capacitor. The ceramic capacitor is not required if the bootstrap capacitor is tantalum.

D2 and D3 discharge the gate capacitances of the MOSFET quickly, bypassing the gate resistors, reducing the turn off time. R1 and R2 are the gate current-limiting resistors.

+MOSV can be up to a maximum of 500V.

+VCC should be from a clean supply. You should use filter capacitors and decoupling capacitors from +VCC to ground for filtering.

Now let’s look at a few example application circuits of the IR2110.

 Fig. 6 - IR2110 circuit for high-voltage half-bridge drive (click on image to enlarge)

 Fig. 7 - IR2110 circuit for high-voltage full-bridge drive with independent switch control (click on image to enlarge)

In Fig. 7 we see the IR2110 being used to drive a full bridge. The functionality is simple and you should understand it by now. A common thing that is often done is that, HIN1 is tied/shorted to LIN2 and HIN2 is tied/shorted to LIN1, enabling the control of all 4 MOSFETs from 2 signal inputs, instead of 4 as shown below in Fig. 8.

 Fig. 8 - IR2110 circuit for high-voltage full-bridge drive with tied switch control - control with 2 input signals (click on image to enlarge)

 Fig. 9 - Using the IR2110 as a single high-voltage high-side driver (click on image to enlarge) 

In Fig. 9 we see the IR2110 being used as a single high-side driver. The circuit is simple enough and follows the same functionality described above. One thing to remember is that, since there is no low-side switch, there must a load connected from OUT to ground. Otherwise the bootstrap capacitors can not charge.

 Fig. 10 - Using the IR2110 as a single low-side driver (click on image to enlarge)

 Fig. 11 - Using the IR2110 as a dual low-side driver (click on image to enlarge)


If you've had failures with IR2110 and had driver after driver, MOSFET after MOSFET get damaged, burn and fail, I'm pretty sure that it's due to you not using gate-to-source resistors, assuming of course that you designed the IR2110 driver stage properly. NEVER OMIT THE GATE-TO-SOURCE RESISTORS. If you're curious, you can read about my experience with them here (I have also explained the reason that the resistors prevent damage):

For further reading, you should go through this:

I have seen in many forums that people struggle with designing circuits with IR2110. I too had a lot of difficulty before I could confidently and consistently build successful driver circuits with IR2110. I have tried to explain the application and use of IR2110 thoroughly through explanation and plenty of examples and hope that it helps you in your endeavors with IR2110.

Schematics for Using the high-low side driver IR2110 - explanation and plenty of example circuits Circuit Electronics
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Circuit Mini Alarm Schematic Diagrams

Circuit Mini Alarm schematics Circuit Electronics,
Suitable for doors windows, Portable anti-bag-snatching unit

This circuit, enclosed in a small plastic box, can be placed into a bag or handbag. A small magnet is placed close to the reed switch and connected to the hand or the clothes of the person carrying the bag by means of a tiny cord. If the bag is snatched abruptly, the magnet looses its contact with the reed switch, SW1 opens, the circuit starts oscillating and the loudspeaker emits a loud alarm sound. A complementary transistor-pair is wired as a high efficiency oscillator, directly driving a small loudspeaker. Low part-count and 3V battery supply allow a very compact construction.


R1 = 330K
R2 = 100R
C1 = 10nF-63V
C2 = 100uF-25V
Q1 = BC547
Q2 = BC327
B1 = 3V battery or Two AA Cells in Series
SW1 = Read switch Small Magnet
SPKR = 8R Loudspeaker (See Notes)

  • The loudspeaker can be any type; its dimensions are limited only by the box that will enclose it.
  • An on-off switch is unnecessary because the stand-by current drawing is less than 20µA.
  • Current consumption when the alarm is sounding is about 100mA.
  • If the circuit is used as anti-bag-snatching, SW1 can be replaced by a 3.5mm mono Jack socket and the magnet by a 3.5mm. Mono Jack plugs having its internal leads shorted. The Jack plug will be connected to the tiny cord etc.
  • Do not supply this circuit at voltages exceeding 4.5V: it will not work and Q2 could be damaged. In any case a 3V supply is the best compromise.

Schematics for Mini Alarm Circuit Electronics
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Circuit Two-Tone Siren Using One IC Schematic Diagrams

Circuit Two-Tone Siren Using One IC schematics Circuit Electronics,
This circuit is intended for children fun, and can be installed on bicycles, battery powered cars and motorcycles, but also on models and various games and toys. With SW1 positioned as shown in the circuit diagram, the typical dual-tone sound of Police or Fire-brigade cars is generated, by the oscillation of IC1A and IC1B gates. With SW1 set to the other position, the old siren sound increasing in frequency and then slowly decreasing is reproduced, by pushing on P1 that starts oscillation in IC1C and IC1D.

The loudspeaker, driven by Q1, should be of reasonable dimensions and well encased, in order to obtain a more realistic and louder output. Tone and period of the sound oscillations can be varied by changing the values of C1, C2, C5, C6 and/or associated resistors. No power switch is required: leave SW1 in the low position (old-type siren) and the circuit consumption will be negligible.

One IC Two-Toness Siren Circuit diagram


R1 = 470K - 1/4W Resistors
R2 = 680K - 1/4W Resistor
R3 = 470K - 1/4W Resistors
R4 = 82K - 1/4W Resistor
R5 = 330K - 1/4W Resistor
R6 = 10K - 1/4W Resistor
R7 = 33K - 1/4W Resistor
R8 = 3.3M - 1/4W Resistor

C1 = 10µF - 25V Electrolytic Capacitors
C2 = 10nF - 63V Polyester Capacitors
C3 = 100nF - 63V Polyester Capacitor
C4 = 100µF - 25V Electrolytic Capacitor
C5 = 10µF - 25V Electrolytic Capacitors
C6 = 10nF - 63V Polyester Capacitors

D1 = 1N4148 - 75V 150mA Diodes
D2 = 1N4148 - 75V 150mA Diodes
D3 = 1N4148 - 75V 150mA Diodes

Q1 = BC337 - 45V 800mA NPN Transistor
P1 = SPST Pushbutton
B1 = 6V battery (4 AA 1.5V Cells in series)
IC1 = 4093 - Quad 2 input Schmitt NAND Gate IC
SW1 = DPDT switch
SPKR= 8 Ohm Loudspeaker
Schematics for Two-Tone Siren Using One IC Circuit Electronics
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Circuit Mains Supply Failure Alarm Schematic Diagrams

Circuit Mains Supply Failure Alarm schematics Circuit Electronics,
Whenever AC mains supply fails, this circuit alerts you by sounding an alarm. It also provides a backup light to help you find your way to the torch or the generator key in the dark. The circuit is powered directly by a 9V PP3/6F22 compact battery. Pressing of switch S1 provides the 9V power supply to the circuit. A red LED (LED2), in conjunction with zener diode ZD1 (6V), is used to indicate the battery power level.

Resistor R9 limits the operating current (and hence the brightness) of LED2. When the battery voltage is 9V, LED2 glows with full intensity. As the battery voltage goes below 8V, the intensity of LED2 decreases and it glows very dimly. LED2 goes off when the battery voltage goes below 7.5V. Initially, in standby state, both the LEDs are off and the buzzer does not sound. The 230V AC mains is directly fed to mains-voltage detection optocoupler IC MCT2E (IC1) via resistors R1, R2 and R3, bridge rectifier BR1 and capacitor C1.

Illumination of the LED inside optocoupler IC1 activates its internal phototransistor and clock input pin 12 of IC2 (connected to 9V via N/C contact of relay RL1) is pulled low. Note that only one monostable of dual-monostable multivibrator IC CD4538 (IC2) is used here. When mains goes off, IC2 is triggered after a short duration determined by components C1, R4 and C3. Output pin 10 of IC2 goes high to forward bias relay driver transistor T1 via resistor R7.

Relay RL1 energises to activate the piezo buzzer via its N/O contact for the time-out period of the monostable multivibrator (approximately 17 minutes). At the same time, the N/C contact removes the positive supply to resistor R4. The time-out period of the monostable multivibrator is determined by R5 and C2. Simultaneously, output pin 9 of IC2 goes low and pnp transistor T2 gets forward biased to light up the white LED (LED1).

Light provided by this back-up LED is sufficient to search the torch or generator key. During the mono time-out period, the circuit can be switched off by opening switch S1. The ‘on’ period of the monostable multivibrator may be changed by changing the value of resistor R5 or capacitor C2. If mains doesn’t resume when the ‘on’ period of the monostable lapses, the timer is retriggered after a short delay determined by resistor R4 and C3.

Schematics for Mains Supply Failure Alarm Circuit Electronics
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Circuit Simple 6-Input Alarm Schematic Diagrams

Circuit Simple 6-Input Alarm schematics Circuit Electronics,
This simple alarm circuit was designed for use in a combined garage and rumpus room. It can be assembled on Veroboard and uses just one IC plus a handful of cheap components. The circuit is based on a straightforward 555 timer circuit (IC1). This is wired as a monostable and sets the siren period which is adjustable up to about three minutes using potentiometer VR1. In operation, IC1's pin 2 input monitors the detector circuit for negative-going signals. When a switch is closed, a brief negative-going pulse is applied to pin 2 via a 10µF capacitor and its corresponding series diode (D2-D7). This triggers IC1 which switches its pin 3 output high and switches off relay RLY1 (ie, RLY1 is normally on).

 As a result, the piezo siren sounds for the duration of the monostable period. In addition, relay RLY2 is turned on via diode D9 and latches on via D10. This means that the strobe light (which is wired to the normally open contact) will continue to flash until the alarm is switched off (via the keyswitch). At the end of the monostable period, RLY1 turns off and this turns off the piezo siren. The circuit can then be retriggered by any further trigger inputs from the switches. A variety of detectors with normally open contacts can be used for the switches, including reed switches, pressure mats, IR detectors and glass breakage detectors. All switches must be open before the alarm is switched on.

Schematics for Simple 6-Input Alarm Circuit Electronics
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