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. 786-2350
Mfr. Part No.LM2575TV-012G
€2.02
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
1A 12 V Buck Controller - 4.75 V 40 V Fixed Through Hole - 1 5 TO-220 Yes -
RS Stock No. 145-3060
Mfr. Part No.LM2575TV-012G
€1.721
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. 124-9982
Mfr. Part No.LM2595TADJG
€1.676
Each (In a Tube of 50)
units
1A 37 V Step Down 1.23 V 4.5 V 40 V Adjustable Through Hole - 1 5 TO-220 Yes -
RS Stock No. 805-1328
Mfr. Part No.LM2595TADJG
€1.964
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
1A 37 V Step Down 1.23 V 4.5 V 40 V Adjustable Through Hole - 1 5 TO-220 Yes -
RS Stock No. 145-2880
Mfr. Part No.LM2575T-3.3G
€1.554
Each (In a Tube of 50)
units
1A 3.3 V Buck Controller - 4.75 V 40 V Fixed Through Hole - 1 5 TO-220 Yes -
RS Stock No. 786-2341
Mfr. Part No.LM2575T-3.3G
€1.832
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
1A 3.3 V Buck Controller - 4.75 V 40 V Fixed Through Hole - 1 5 TO-220 Yes -
RS Stock No. 786-2391
Mfr. Part No.LM2596TVADJG
€1.854
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. 121-6367
Mfr. Part No.LM2596TVADJG
€1.576
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. 163-0438
Mfr. Part No.LM2576D2T-005G
€1.665
Each (In a Tube of 50)
units
3A 5.25 V Buck Controller 4.75 V 8 V 40 V Adjustable Surface Mount - 1 5 D2PAK Yes -
RS Stock No. 808-0067
Mfr. Part No.LM2576D2T-005G
€1.665
Each (In a Pack of 10)
units
3A 5.25 V Buck Controller 4.75 V 8 V 40 V Adjustable Surface Mount - 1 5 D2PAK Yes -
RS Stock No. 786-2397
Mfr. Part No.LM2596DSADJR4G
€1.888
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
3A 37 V Buck Controller 1.23 V 4.5 V 40 V Adjustable Surface Mount - 1 5 D2PAK Yes -
RS Stock No. 163-2401
Mfr. Part No.LM2575T-ADJG
€1.554
Each (In a Tube of 50)
units
1A 37 V Buck Controller, Inverting 1.23 V 4.75 V 40 V Adjustable Through Hole - 1 5 TO-220 Yes -
RS Stock No. 786-2338
Mfr. Part No.LM2574N-12G
€1.642
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
500mA - Buck Controller - - - Fixed Through Hole - 1 8 PDIP Yes -
RS Stock No. 121-6368
Mfr. Part No.LM2596DSADJG
€1.565
Each (In a Tube of 50)
units
3A 37 V Buck Controller 1.23 V 4.5 V 40 V Adjustable Surface Mount - 1 5 D2PAK Yes -
RS Stock No. 786-2369
Mfr. Part No.LM2576D2T-ADJR4G
€1.954
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. 786-2372
Mfr. Part No.LM2576D2TR4-3.3G
€1.955
Each (In a Pack of 2)
units
3A 3.3 V Buck Controller - - 40 V Fixed Surface Mount - 1 5 D2PAK Yes -
RS Stock No. 161-2655
Mfr. Part No.NCP1532MUAATXG
€1.059
Each (In a Pack of 10)
units
1.6A 3.3 V Step Down 0.9 V 2.7 V 5.5 V Adjustable Surface Mount - 1 10 UDFN Yes 0.05 %
RS Stock No. 786-2381
Mfr. Part No.LM2576TV-5G
€1.732
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
3A 5 V Buck Controller - - 40 V Fixed Through Hole - 1 5 TO-220 Yes -
RS Stock No. 802-3177
Mfr. Part No.NCP1593BMNTWG
€0.592
Each (On a Tape of 20)
units
3A 5 V Inverting, Non-Inverting 0.6 V 4 V 5.5 V Adjustable Surface Mount - 1 10 DFN Yes -65 dB
RS Stock No. 145-3374
Mfr. Part No.LM2576TV-012G
€0.684
Each (In a Tube of 50)
units
3A 12 V Buck Controller - - 40 V Fixed Through Hole - 1 5 TO-220 Yes -