Buck Converters

A Buck Converter, also known as a Step-Down Converter, is a DC-to-DC power converter that steps down the voltage from its input to its output. A buck converter integrates the core components and circuitry needed into a single device.

Buck converters are found in countless electronic applications, where their power regulation properties are a vital component.

How does a Buck Converter work?

A Buck Converter is a type of switch-mode power supply, a class of device that incorporates a switch (e.g. typically a MOSFET) to rapidly turn the circuit on and off. This rapid switching creates a square wave. If the duty cycle of the switch is set to 50%, i.e. the switch is on 50% of the time, the average voltage will be 50% of the input.

The square wave needs to be smoothed to provide useful power, typically an inductor and capacitor are used in series to fulfil this function. This combination is called an LC low pass filter. The properties of an inductor smooth the current flow, while the capacitor resists sudden changes in voltage. The combined effect produces a relatively smooth voltage output with low ripple. For example, if the input voltage is 10V and the switch employs a duty cycle of 50%, the output voltage will be 5V.

A further necessary component of a Buck Converter is to incorporate a diode or other switch in parallel with the inductor. This is to compensate for the property of an inductor, in that the current in an inductor cannot instantly change, protecting the switching transistor from being overloaded and destroyed.

Buck Converters also incorporate additional circuitry to ensure a stable output voltage. The converter uses a closed-loop control scheme with negative feedback to monitor the voltage output and dynamically adjusts the duty cycle of the switch to regulate the output voltage.

Design considerations

  • Buck Converters are very efficient, with some devices offering efficiencies of above 95%.
  • Buck Converters can be more cost-effective than linear regulators at higher power levels, the cost of removing the heat generated by a linear regulator may be less than employing a Buck Converter.
  • The output of a Buck Converter will feature a noise, meaning the more stable output of a linear voltage regulator is better suited for application requiring low output noise.
  • Linear regulators can respond faster to input and output changes versus a buck converter.

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Description Price Maximum Output Current Maximum Output Voltage Regulator Function Minimum Output Voltage Minimum Input Voltage Maximum Input Voltage Output Type Mounting Type Series Number of Outputs Pin Count Package Type Switching Regulator Line Regulation
RS Stock No. 711-2541
Mfr. Part No.LTM4619EV#PBF
MYR165.53
Each
units
4A 5 V Buck Controller 0.8 V 4.5 V 26.5 V Adjustable Surface Mount - 2 144 LGA Yes 0.3 %
RS Stock No. 125-3772
Mfr. Part No.LTM4625EY#PBF
MYR63.77
Each
units
5A 5.5 V Step Down 0.6 V 4 V 20 V dc Adjustable Surface Mount - 1 25 BGA Yes 0.15 %/V
RS Stock No. 460-487
Mfr. Part No.LM2576HVS-ADJ/NOPB
MYR29.53
Each
units
3A 57 V Buck Controller, Inverting 1.23 V 4 V 60 V Adjustable Surface Mount - 1 5 D2PAK (TO-263) Yes -
RS Stock No. 533-8091
Mfr. Part No.LM2576T-5.0/NOPB
MYR14.99
Each
units
3A - Buck Controller, Inverting - 4 V 40 V Fixed Through Hole - 1 5 TO-220 Yes -
RS Stock No. 824-3088
Mfr. Part No.MCP16311-E/MS
BrandMicrochip
MYR6.09
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
1A 24 V Step Down 2 V 4.4 V 30 V Adjustable Surface Mount - 1 8 MSOP - 0.01 %/V
RS Stock No. 639-4654
Mfr. Part No.LM2734YMK/NOPB
MYR10.06
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
1A - Buck Controller - 3 V 20 V Adjustable Surface Mount - 1 6 TSOT Yes 0.01 %/V
RS Stock No. 121-9724
Mfr. Part No.LM46002PWPT
MYR14.642
Each (On a Reel of 250)
units
2A 28 V Step Down 1 V 3.5 V 60 V Adjustable Surface Mount - 1 16 HTSSOP Yes -
RS Stock No. 125-3770
Mfr. Part No.LTM4622EV#PBF
MYR67.02
Each
units
5A 5.5 V Step Down 0.6 V 3.6 V 20 V dc Adjustable Surface Mount - 2 25 LGA Yes 0.1 %/V
RS Stock No. 177-5547
Mfr. Part No.A8498SLJTR-T
MYR9.186
Each (On a Reel of 3000)
units
3A 24 V Buck Controller 0.8 V 8 V 50 V Adjustable Surface Mount - 1 8 SOIC Yes -
RS Stock No. 786-2366
Mfr. Part No.LM2576D2T-ADJG
MYR9.41
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
3A 37 V Buck Controller 1.23 V - 40 V Adjustable Surface Mount - 1 5 D2PAK Yes -
RS Stock No. 100-3973
Mfr. Part No.LM3578AN/NOPB
MYR10.112
Each (In a Tube of 40)
units
750mA - Buck Controller, Inverting - 2 V 40 V Adjustable Through Hole - 1 8 MDIP Yes 0.01 %/V
RS Stock No. 823-9293
Mfr. Part No.LM46002PWPT
MYR20.29
Each (In a Pack of 2)
units
2A 28 V Step Down 1 V 3.5 V 60 V Adjustable Surface Mount - 1 16 HTSSOP Yes -
RS Stock No. 121-6363
Mfr. Part No.LM2576D2T-ADJG
MYR7.98
Each (In a Tube of 50)
units
3A 37 V Buck Controller 1.23 V - 40 V Adjustable Surface Mount - 1 5 D2PAK Yes -
RS Stock No. 689-9932
Mfr. Part No.LM2575T-5G
MYR9.42
Each
units
1A 5.25 V Buck Controller 4.75 V 4.75 V 40 V Fixed Through Hole - 1 5 TO-220 Yes -
RS Stock No. 165-4159
Mfr. Part No.MIC4682YM
BrandMicrochip
MYR13.776
Each (In a Tube of 95)
units
2A - Buck Controller - 4 V 34 V Adjustable Surface Mount - 1 8 SOIC Yes -
RS Stock No. 506-0394
Mfr. Part No.LT1765ES8#PBF
MYR46.75
Each
units
3A - Buck Controller - 3 V 25 V Adjustable Surface Mount - 1 8 SOIC Yes -
RS Stock No. 923-6671
Mfr. Part No.TPS54160DGQ
MYR13.87
Each (In a Tube of 80)
units
1.5A - Buck Controller - 3.5 V 60 V Adjustable Surface Mount - 1 10 MSOP Yes -
RS Stock No. 122-0359
Mfr. Part No.AP1509-33SG-13
MYR3.875
Each (On a Reel of 2500)
units
2A 3.3 V Buck Controller - 4.5 V 22 V Fixed Surface Mount - 1 8 SOP Yes -
RS Stock No. 686-8464
Mfr. Part No.VIPER16LN
MYR3.98
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
- - - - - - - Through Hole - - 7 PDIP - -
RS Stock No. 127-0676
Mfr. Part No.L4960
MYR15.98
Each
units
- 40 V Buck Controller 5.1 V 9 V 46 V Adjustable Through Hole - 1 7 HEPTAWATT V Yes 50 mV