The ULN2003A 7-way (or ULN2803A 8-way) darlington driver is usually the go-to chip of choice when you need to switch any high current load from a microcontroller’s GPIO. It provides seven darlington driver stages to give low-side switching and even includes seven common-cathode clamp diodes to snub voltage spikes when high inductance loads are used. Texas instruments have recently introduced an alternative device which is said to be the industry’s first seven-channel, NMOS low-side driver chip.

The TPL7407L is a high-current NMOS transistor array. It contains seven NMOS transistors that feature high-voltage outputs also with built-in clamp diodes. The input stage is compatible with GPIO logic levels ranging from 1.8 to 5.0 V and the maximum rating of each NMOS channel is 600 mA. Several outputs can be paralleled if it is necessary to sink higher levels of load current. The TPL7407L’s key benefit is its improved power efficiency and lower leakage compared to bipolar darlington drivers.

It exhibits a lower VOL which means that the driver will be dissipating less than half the power for an equivalent load current. When used together with TI’s SN74HC595 register device, one or more TPL7404s can be controlled with just three GPIO pins

TI data sheet: TPL7407L