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. 680-7239
Mfr. Part No.A8498SLJTR-T
MYR7.256
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
3A 24 V Buck Controller 0.8 V 8 V 50 V Adjustable Surface Mount - 1 8 SOIC Yes -
RS Stock No. 920-3536
Mfr. Part No.LM2591HVS-5.0/NOPB
MYR25.084
Each (In a Tube of 45)
units
1A - Buck Controller - 4.5 V 60 V Fixed Surface Mount - 1 5 D2PAK (TO-263) Yes -
RS Stock No. 779-9441
Mfr. Part No.LT1766IFE#PBF
MYR45.29
Each
units
1.5A 68 V Buck Controller 1.2 V 5.5 V 60 V - Surface Mount - 1 16 TSSOP Yes 0.15 %/V
RS Stock No. 102-5615
Mfr. Part No.LM2734YMK/NOPB
MYR7.543
Each (On a Reel of 1000)
units
1A - Buck Controller - 3 V 20 V Adjustable Surface Mount - 1 6 TSOT Yes 0.01 %/V
RS Stock No. 121-8936
Mfr. Part No.TPS75003RHLT
MYR16.614
Each (On a Reel of 250)
units
3A 6.5 V Buck Controller 1 (LDO) V, 1.2 (Buck) V 2.2 V 6.5 V Adjustable Surface Mount - 1 20 QFN Yes 0.075 (LDO) %/V, 0.1 (Buck) %/V
RS Stock No. 121-6364
Mfr. Part No.LM2576D2T-ADJR4G
MYR5.194
Each (On a Reel of 800)
units
3A 37 V Buck Controller 1.23 V - 40 V Adjustable Surface Mount - 1 5 D2PAK Yes -
RS Stock No. 145-5975
Mfr. Part No.LM22676MR-ADJ/NOPB
MYR19.877
Each (In a Tube of 95)
units
3A - Buck Controller 1.258 V 4.5 V 42 V Adjustable Surface Mount - 1 8 PSOP Yes -
RS Stock No. 163-2400
Mfr. Part No.LM2575T-5G
MYR7.97
Each (In a Tube of 50)
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. 165-2036
Mfr. Part No.MCP16311-E/MS
BrandMicrochip
MYR4.979
Each (In a Tube of 100)
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. 177-3614
Mfr. Part No.L4962/A
MYR16.81
Each
units
- 40 V Buck Controller 5.1 V 9 V 46 V Adjustable Through Hole - 1 16 PDIP Yes 50 mV
RS Stock No. 786-2369
Mfr. Part No.LM2576D2T-ADJR4G
MYR10.678
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. 545-7108
Mfr. Part No.LTC1435ACS#PBF
MYR42.17
Each
units
- - - - - - - Surface Mount - - 16 SOIC - -
RS Stock No. 168-5905
Mfr. Part No.L4960
MYR13.577
Each (In a Tube of 50)
units
- 40 V Buck Controller 5.1 V 9 V 46 V Adjustable Through Hole - 1 7 HEPTAWATT V Yes 50 mV
RS Stock No. 100-3944
Mfr. Part No.LM2678S-5.0/NOPB
MYR25.137
Each (In a Tube of 45)
units
5A - Buck Controller - 8 V 40 V Fixed Surface Mount - 1 7 D2PAK (TO-263) Yes -
RS Stock No. 751-2929
Mfr. Part No.AP1509-33SG-13
MYR7.004
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
2A 3.3 V Buck Controller - 4.5 V 22 V Fixed Surface Mount - 1 8 SOP Yes -
RS Stock No. 121-6367
Mfr. Part No.LM2596TVADJG
MYR8.673
Each (In a Tube of 50)
units
3A 37 V Buck Controller 1.23 V 4.5 V 40 V Adjustable Through Hole - 1 5 TO-220 Yes -
RS Stock No. 100-3981
Mfr. Part No.LM2576T-5.0/NOPB
MYR12.199
Each (In a Tube of 45)
units
3A - Buck Controller, Inverting - 4 V 40 V Fixed Through Hole - 1 5 TO-220 Yes -
RS Stock No. 825-6835
Mfr. Part No.TPS5430DDAR
MYR17.86
Each (In a Pack of 2)
units
3A 31 V Buck 1.22 V 5.5 V 36 V Adjustable Surface Mount - 1 8 SOIC - -
RS Stock No. 786-2391
Mfr. Part No.LM2596TVADJG
MYR10.206
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
3A 37 V Buck Controller 1.23 V 4.5 V 40 V Adjustable Through Hole - 1 5 TO-220 Yes -
RS Stock No. 533-5862
Mfr. Part No.LM3578AN/NOPB
MYR11.87
Each
units
750mA - Buck Controller, Inverting - 2 V 40 V Adjustable Through Hole - 1 8 MDIP Yes 0.01 %/V