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. 639-4339
Mfr. Part No.LM5005MH/NOPB
€4.15
Each
units
2.5A - Buck Controller, Inverting - 7 V 75 V Adjustable Surface Mount - 1 20 TSSOP 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. 162-9816
Mfr. Part No.LMR16006YDDCT
€1.744
Each (On a Reel of 250)
units
600mA 65 V Step Down -0.3 V 4 V 60 V Adjustable Surface Mount - 1 6 SOT-23 Yes -
RS Stock No. 920-3514
Mfr. Part No.LM2576S-ADJ/NOPB
€2.446
Each (In a Tube of 45)
units
3A 37 V Buck Controller, Inverting 1.23 V 4 V 40 V Adjustable Surface Mount - 1 5 D2PAK (TO-263) Yes -
RS Stock No. 533-3721
Mfr. Part No.LM2596T-12/NOPB
€4.13
Each
units
3A - Buck Controller, Inverting - 4.5 V 40 V Fixed Through Hole - 1 5 TO-220 Yes -
RS Stock No. 533-8063
Mfr. Part No.LM2575T-5.0/NOPB
€2.32
Each
units
1A - Buck Controller, Inverting - 4 V 40 V Fixed Through Hole - 1 5 TO-220 Yes -
RS Stock No. 920-3598
Mfr. Part No.LM2596T-12/NOPB
€3.498
Each (In a Tube of 45)
units
3A - Buck Controller, Inverting - 4.5 V 40 V Fixed Through Hole - 1 5 TO-220 Yes -
RS Stock No. 100-3978
Mfr. Part No.LM2575T-5.0/NOPB
€1.97
Each (In a Tube of 45)
units
1A - Buck Controller, Inverting - 4 V 40 V Fixed 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. 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. 121-8983
Mfr. Part No.LM5005MH/NOPB
€3.517
Each (In a Tube of 73)
units
2.5A - Buck Controller, Inverting - 7 V 75 V Adjustable Surface Mount - 1 20 TSSOP Yes -
RS Stock No. 121-8321
Mfr. Part No.LM2575T-5.0/LF03
€2.796
Each (In a Tube of 45)
units
1A - Buck Controller, Inverting - 4 V 40 V Fixed Through Hole - 1 5 TO-220 Yes -
RS Stock No. 787-0014
Mfr. Part No.LTM8025IV#PBF
€20.52
Each
units
3A 24 V Buck Controller 0.8 V 3.6 V 36 V Adjustable Surface Mount - 1 71 LGA Yes 0.3 %
RS Stock No. 121-9375
Mfr. Part No.TPS62175DQCT
€0.816
Each (On a Reel of 250)
units
500mA 6 V - 1 V 4.75 V 28 V Adjustable Surface Mount - 1 10 WSON Yes 0.015 %/V
RS Stock No. 146-0313
Mfr. Part No.MIC4680YM
BrandMicrochip
€1.543
Each (In a Tube of 95)
units
1.3A - Buck Controller 1.25 V 4 V 34 V Adjustable Surface Mount - 1 8 SOIC Yes -
RS Stock No. 533-5266
Mfr. Part No.LM2678T-12/NOPB
€4.95
Each
units
5A - Buck Controller - 8 V 40 V Fixed Through Hole - 1 7 TO-220 Yes -
RS Stock No. 917-5850
Mfr. Part No.MP2314GJ-P
€2.24
Each (In a Pack of 2)
units
2A - Step Down 0.8 V 4.5 V 24 V Adjustable Surface Mount - 1 8 TSOT-23 Yes -
RS Stock No. 920-3582
Mfr. Part No.LM2596S-3.3/NOPB
€4.116
Each (In a Tube of 45)
units
3A - Buck Controller, Inverting - 4.5 V 40 V Fixed Surface Mount - 1 5 D2PAK (TO-263) Yes -
RS Stock No. 178-1480
Mfr. Part No.VIPER16LN
€0.667
Each (In a Tube of 50)
units
- - - - - - - Through Hole - - 7 PDIP - -
RS Stock No. 533-8142
Mfr. Part No.LM2675N-ADJ/NOPB
€3.59
Each
units
1A 37 V Buck Controller 1.21 V 8 V 40 V Adjustable Through Hole - 1 8 MDIP Yes -