Power MOSFET vs. N-Channel MOSFET

Hello all,

I’m trying to build a circuit to allow my Arduino to control power (switch) a 12V 500ma load. I’ve read a good tutorial at bildr High-Power Control: Arduino + N-Channel MOSFET - bildr which explains most of what I need.

It so happens that I have a stack of old VNP20N07 ICs that I found in my parts bin. The data sheet calls this a “Power MOSFET”. The tutorial says that I need an N-channel MOSFET, and recommends the RFP30N06LE.

From my research it sounds like the Power MOSFET is used more in audio amplification applications. But I couldn’t find anything in the datasheet to suggest that it wouldn’t just switch power like the regular N-channel MOSFET.

For my purposes, can I use the VNP20N in place of the RFP30N06LE? If not, why not?


For my purposes, can I use the VNP20N in place of the RFP30N06LE? If not, why not?

What are the VGS characteristics of the VNP?
(If you’ll attach the PDF as an Attachment then I’ll take a look at it, but I don’t want to d/l from another site.)

I don’t see Vgs listed, but I’ve attached the datasheet here.

VNP20N07_datasheet.pdf (138 KB)

The VNP20N07 is not a mosfet, its a switch circuit that includes a power MOSFET
and lots of protection circuitry to make them more rugged. This one is fairly fast
(some other switch chips are extremely slow and cannot be used for PWM).

For your purposes its fine, though almost any modern logic-level n-MOSFET would


A power MOSFET is a MOSFET that works at high power. That’s all. Originally
early power MOSFETs were developed for audio amps, and had negligible voltage
plateau - so good for analog. Examples were the 2SJ48/2SK133 complementary pair.

These days that’s the exception, power electronics is all switch-mode, analog is
rare, so you’d have trouble finding a power MOSFET that wasn’t heavily optimized
for switching (very non-linear Vgs response with a definite voltage plateau). They
also have intregral body diodes as part of the structure of the device.

MOSFETs are either n-channel or p-channel (n-FET, p-FET) and either enhancement
(normal sort) or depletion (rare - these conduct at 0V drive).