Qwiic Power Switch

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Many of our Qwiic products draw very little current when in standby, but there are some that draw considerably more. Products like our top-end u-blox GNSS boards in particular. There are times when you wish you could switch them off to save power, and the Qwiic Power Switch (QPS) allows you to do exactly that!

Based on the PCA9536 4-Bit I2C I/O expander, the QPS can completely disconnect any attached devices so you can minimize your current draw and extend your battery life when you need to.

The QPS also includes a PCA9306 level-translator which acts as a bus isolator. Want to mix 400kHz and 100kHz I2C devices on the same bus? The QPS will let you do that too! You can isolate the slower devices while you talk to the fast ones. You can leave the slower devices powered up while you do this, or completely switch them off. It’s your choice.

If that wasn’t enough, we’ve broken out the two unused GPIO pins so you can use those as extra inputs or outputs for your project too!

Our Arduino Library includes a comprehensive example showing how you can: switch the power; isolate the I2C bus; and use those extra GPIO pins.

Pair some QPSs with the SparkFun Qwiic Mux and you can now not only talk to multiple devices that share the same I2C address, you can selectively switch them off too!

Need extra Qwiic cables? This set covers all the options.

The SparkFun Qwiic connect system is an ecosystem of I2C sensors, actuators, shields and cables that make prototyping faster and less prone to error. All Qwiic-enabled boards use a common 1mm pitch, 4-pin JST connector. This reduces the amount of required PCB space, and polarized connections mean you can’t hook it up wrong.

Experimental Product: SparkX products are rapidly produced to bring you the most cutting edge technology as it becomes available. These products are tested but come with no guarantees. Live technical support is not available for SparkX products. Head on over to our forum for support or to ask a question.
  • PCA9536
    • 4-Bit I2C to Parallel Port Expander
    • Operating Voltage (VCC): 2.3V to 5.5V
    • (Note: Qwiic operation must be limited to 3.3V)
    • Operating Temperature: -40°C to +85°C
    • 400kHz Fast I2C Bus
    • Input/Output Configuration Register
    • Polarity Inversion Register
    • Internal Power-On Reset
    • No Glitch on Power Up
    • Standby Current Consumption (Typical): 0.2μA
    • I2C Address: 0x41
  • PCA9306
    • Dual Bidirectional I2C Bus Voltage-Level Translator
    • Lockup-free Operation for Isolation
  • IN and OUT Qwiic Connection Ports
  • 2x Extra GPIO Pins
  • IN and OUT Power LEDs
    • Can be disabled for low power applications


Looking for answers to technical questions?

We welcome your comments and suggestions below. However, if you are looking for solutions to technical questions please see our Technical Assistance page.

  • adam.g / about 4 years ago / 3

    I'm currently using the Qwiic Power Switch as a solution for reducing the sleep current of several power-hungry Qwiic devices, including the 9DoF IMU Breakout - ICM-20948, and GPS Breakout - ZOE-M8Q. It's working great! A single line of code to turn the devices ON/OFF makes power management simple as pie.

    I should note that the quiescent draw actually appears to be 77 µA when a load is connected (as opposed to the stated 0.2 µA), but compared to the tens of milliamps the u-blox GNSS receiver typically draws, it's a happy compromise.

    Would be great to see this SparkX product go red!

  • erff / about 2 years ago / 2

    I get about 77uA as well

  • erff / about a year ago / 1

    This is an awesome solution for a lot of low power projects

  • Member #187451 / about a year ago / 1

    Since a good part of the function of this board is to breakout the DC power (i.e. swtich DC power), I would recommend including the datasheet of the power mosfet or include the basic power ratings to allow the user to make a determination whether this board will suffice for their needs. As an example, would this be good to switch 5V power? 12V power? Would it be good to swtich 100mA, 1A, 2A, 5A? I see from the schematic that the mosfet appears to be rated at 20V, 4.2A 1.4W; but does that mean 20V max damage voltage (or rated operational)? does it mean 1.4W max damage thermal dissipation (or 1.4W rated operational at 4.2A or 20V). Hopefully you get the idea.

  • Member #1478750 / about 3 years ago / 1

    I wonder if this may be even better with 3 Qwiic ports: 2 ports to allow chaining Qwiic devices, and 1 port (the one that is switched on / off) for putting the device.

    • Member #1478750 / about 3 years ago / 1

      Ah wait, the chip at the core of this has only 1 fixed address which means that this 3-ports idea would not work, right? Too bad. A bit annoying to need both the multiplexer and several of this one to make a chain of individually switchable devices. Any way to upgrade this breakout so that a few pads would allow by soldering them to change the address which would allow to have a chain of individually switchable I2C devices, without needing the mux in addition? :)

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