Electronic – Difference between High- and Low- side switching of power


Is there any real difference between high- and low-side switching?


  • Switching is for on/off control of an object (My case RPi)
  • Base/Gate can be driven to Vcc and GND

Best Answer

The only real differences are the ground level and maximum current available:

  • Low-side switching means that the two subcircuits will have different ground levels since the switching element will have a (small) non-zero voltage drop.
  • High-side switching will have a lower maximum current limit since P-type (high-side) switching elements usually have a higher on resistance than N-type (low-side) switching elements.