What is the Difference Between Switching Loss and Conduction Loss in a Transistor?

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Editorial Team - everything PE

May 25, 2023

When a transistor switches between its on and off states, there are energy losses known as switching losses. When the transistor is conducting current and in the on-state, conduction losses happen.

Given below is the table that illustrates the difference between switching and conduction losses.


Switching Losses

Conduction Losses


Energy losses that occur during switching transitions in a transistor.

Energy losses that occur during the conduction (ON) state of a transistor.


Result from the charging and discharging of the transistor's internal capacitances and the switching of current flow.

Arise due to the resistance of the transistor when it is in the ON state.


Depend on the switching frequency and voltage transitions in the circuit.

Depend on the current flowing through the transistor when it is in the ON state.

Energy Dissipation

Occurs during the transition period when the transistor changes from the OFF state to the ON state or vice versa.

Occurs continuously while the transistor is in the ON state.

Impact on Efficiency

Higher switching losses decrease the overall efficiency of the power converter.

Higher conduction losses lead to increased power dissipation and reduced efficiency.

Components Affected

Primarily affects the switching devices (transistors) and associated driver circuitry.

Primarily affects the transistor's ON-state resistance (RDS(on)) and associated heat sink.

Mitigation Methods

Soft-switching techniques, snubber circuits, gate driver optimization, control techniques, advanced semiconductor materials, etc.

Minimizing ON-state resistance, improving thermal management, optimizing circuit layout, etc.

Click here to learn more about switching losses in a power transistor.