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. 822-5682
Mfr. Part No.LT3663EMS8E#PBF
MYR26.44
Each
units
1.2A 6 V Step Down 0.8 V 7.5 V 36 V Adjustable Surface Mount - 1 8 MSOP Yes -
RS Stock No. 798-1268
Mfr. Part No.LMZ23610TZ/NOPB
MYR104.87
Each
units
10A 6 V Buck Controller 0.8 V 6 V 36 V Adjustable Surface Mount - 1 11 TO-PMOD Yes ±0.2 %
New
RS Stock No. 214-9153
Mfr. Part No.MAX20004EAFOB/VY+
MYR14.28
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
4A 5 V Synchronous Buck Converter 36 V 3 V - Fixed - - 1 17 FC2QFN - -
RS Stock No. 825-6841
Mfr. Part No.TPS54332DDAR
MYR8.674
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
3.5A 25 V - 0.8 V 3.5 V 28 V Adjustable Surface Mount - 1 8 SO PowerPAD - -
RS Stock No. 168-5780
Mfr. Part No.L4974A
MYR42.21
Each (In a Tube of 20)
units
3.5A 40 V Buck Controller 5.1 V 15 V 50 V Adjustable Through Hole - 1 20 PDIP Yes 30 mV
New
RS Stock No. 212-2100
Mfr. Part No.ST1PS01GJR
MYR7.20
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
400mA 3.3 V Step Down 0.73 V 1.8 V - Fixed - - 1 8 Flip-Chip - -
RS Stock No. 162-6457
Mfr. Part No.TPS54478RTET
MYR9.857
Each (On a Reel of 250)
units
4A 4.5 V Synchronous Buck Controller 0.6 V 2.95 V 6 V Adjustable Surface Mount - 1 16 WQFN Yes -
RS Stock No. 922-2464
Mfr. Part No.LMZ23605TZ/NOPB
MYR73.03
Each (In a Tube of 45)
units
5A 6 V Buck Controller 0.8 V 6 V 36 V Adjustable Surface Mount - 1 7 TO-PMOD Yes ±0.02 %
RS Stock No. 920-3668
Mfr. Part No.LM2675M-12/NOPB
MYR19.064
Each (In a Tube of 95)
units
1A - Buck Controller - 8 V 40 V Fixed Surface Mount - 1 8 SOIC Yes -
RS Stock No. 100-3942
Mfr. Part No.LM2676S-ADJ/NOPB
MYR21.31
Each (In a Tube of 45)
units
3A 37 V Buck Controller 1.2 V 8 V 40 V Adjustable Surface Mount - 1 7 D2PAK (TO-263) Yes -
RS Stock No. 145-3060
Mfr. Part No.LM2575TV-012G
MYR7.53
Each (In a Tube of 50)
units
1A 12 V Buck Controller - 4.75 V 40 V Fixed Through Hole - 1 5 TO-220 Yes -
RS Stock No. 288-960
Mfr. Part No.LM5574MT/NOPB
MYR20.10
Each
units
500mA - Buck Regulator - 6 V 75 V Adjustable Surface Mount - 1 16 TSSOP Yes -
RS Stock No. 165-4060
Mfr. Part No.MCP16311T-E/MNY
BrandMicrochip
MYR4.765
Each (On a Reel of 3300)
units
1A 24 V Step Down 2 V 4.4 V 30 V Adjustable Surface Mount - 1 8 TDFN Yes 0.15 %/V
RS Stock No. 825-6911
Mfr. Part No.TPS62143RGTT
MYR9.282
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
2A 5 V Buck - 3 V 17 V Fixed Surface Mount - 1 16 QFN - 0.02 %/V
RS Stock No. 825-3681
Mfr. Part No.TLV62150RGTT
MYR5.956
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
1A 5 V Buck Converter 0.9 V 4 V 17 V Adjustable Surface Mount - 1 16 QFN - 0.02 %/V
RS Stock No. 170-9384
Mfr. Part No.MPM3805GQB-P
MYR6.958
Each (On a Reel of 500)
units
600mA - Step Down 0.6 V 2.5 V 6 V Adjustable Surface Mount - 1 12 QFN Yes -
RS Stock No. 168-5073
Mfr. Part No.TPS54334DDA
MYR10.416
Each (In a Tube of 75)
units
3A 24 V Step Down 0.8 V 4.2 V 28 V Adjustable Surface Mount - 1 8 SO PowerPAD Yes -
RS Stock No. 921-6908
Mfr. Part No.LM3409HVMY/NOPB
MYR5.601
Each (On a Reel of 1000)
units
5A 42 V Buck Controller - 6 V 75 V - Surface Mount - 1 10 VSSOP - -
RS Stock No. 121-8682
Mfr. Part No.LM2574HVN-5.0/NOPB
MYR18.98
Each (In a Tube of 40)
units
500mA - Buck Controller, Inverting - 4 V 60 V Fixed Through Hole - 1 8 MDIP Yes -
RS Stock No. 251-3390
Mfr. Part No.L4970A
MYR57.94
Each
units
10A 40 V Buck Controller 5.1 V 15 V 50 V Adjustable Through Hole - 1 15 MULTIWATT V Yes 30 mV