This section provides overview, applications, and principles of dc to dc converters. Also, please take a look at the list of 8 dc to dc converter manufacturers and their company rankings.
A DC To DC Converter is a power supply device that produces different DC voltages from a DC power supply that outputs a constant voltage.
A converter that outputs a higher voltage than the input DC voltage is called a boost converter, while a converter that outputs a lower voltage is called a buck converter.
DC To DC Converters are used to provide suitable power supply voltages for some circuits inside electronic equipment.
Generally, electronic equipment operates using commercial power (AC), but electronic circuits require a DC power supply, so the commercial power supply is converted once to DC. This power supply circuit is called an AC/DC converter.
On the other hand, since the optimum operating voltage range for electronic components such as ICs that make up a circuit differs from each other, the appropriate voltage must be supplied to each individual circuit. In such cases, DC To DC Converters are used.
There are two types of DC To DC Converters, each with a different principle.
In a linear regulator, an NPN transistor is inserted between the input and output terminals, and the output voltage is maintained constant by controlling the voltage between the collector and emitter of the transistor. The transistor has the collector on the input side and the emitter on the output side, and the control circuit detects the difference between the output voltage and the desired voltage.
The basic operation is to control the base current of the transistor and vary the voltage between the collector and emitter to keep the output voltage constant. The control circuit controls the gate voltage.
The basic operation of a switching regulator is to install a switching element between the input and output terminals, supply power from the input to the output with the switching element in the ON state until the output voltage reaches the desired voltage, and then turn the switching element OFF when the output voltage reaches the desired voltage.
This operation is repeated at high speed to control the output voltage to keep it within the desired range. In switching regulator type DC To DC Converters, in combination with an inductor, the reverse voltage generated from the inductor at the time of current interruption can be used for boost operation to obtain a higher voltage than the input voltage.
In addition, a step-up/step-down regulator that can output a constant voltage regardless of the input side voltage, as well as an inverting regulator that creates a negative voltage from a positive voltage, can also be realized.
There are two main types of DC To DC Converters: linear regulators and switching regulators.
An NPN type transistor is inserted between the input and output terminals to control the output voltage so that it is always constant.
The output voltage is lower than the input voltage.
Energy efficiency is poor and heat generation is high due to high transistor losses.
A switching regulator has the following advantages: a switching element is installed between the input and output terminals, the current flowing from the input terminal is turned on and off by the switching element, and the voltage at the output terminal is maintained at a constant level.
On the other hand, the disadvantages are as follows.
Linear regulators provide stable voltage output with low noise and are suitable for analog circuits, such as when handling weak signals from various sensors. However, since they generate a large amount of heat, proper heat dissipation design is required. Consideration must be given to dissipate the generated heat to the outside of the device by using heat sinks or fans in combination.
Switching regulators, on the other hand, allow a wide range of output voltage settings and can supply large currents, but they inevitably generate noise, which may require countermeasures. An example of such a countermeasure is to place the device in a shielded case.
However, to prevent noise from penetrating into analog circuits, it may be necessary to separate the power supply itself and ground the DC To DC Converters and analog circuits at a common ground level by grounding them at a single point.
Also, although heat generation is relatively low, when outputting a large amount of power, it is necessary to design the device with sufficient attention to heat dissipation inside the device, as is the case with linear regulators.
*Including some distributors, etc.
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