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. 661-6979
Mfr. Part No.TPS62205DBVT
€0.48
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300mA - Buck Controller - 2.5 V 6 V Fixed Surface Mount - 1 5 SOT-23 Yes 0.26 %/V
RS Stock No. 786-2391
Mfr. Part No.LM2596TVADJG
€1.854
Each (In a Pack of 5)
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3A 37 V Buck Controller 1.23 V 4.5 V 40 V Adjustable 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. 686-8464
Mfr. Part No.VIPER16LN
€0.786
Each (In a Pack of 5)
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- - - - - - - Through Hole - - 7 PDIP - -
RS Stock No. 146-5637
Mfr. Part No.LNK305GN
€0.803
Each (In a Tube of 50)
units
280mA 700 V Boost, Buck, Flyback -0.3 V 85 V ac 265 V ac Fixed Surface Mount - 1 8 SMDB - -
RS Stock No. 460-483
Mfr. Part No.LM2575T-5.0/LF03
€3.216
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
1A - Buck Controller, Inverting - 4 V 40 V Fixed Through Hole - 1 5 TO-220 Yes -
RS Stock No. 798-1209
Mfr. Part No.LMZ14203HTZE/NOPB
€15.94
Each
units
3A 24 V Buck Controller 5 V 6 V 42 V Adjustable Surface Mount - 1 7 TO-PMOD Yes 0.01 %
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. 921-6917
Mfr. Part No.LM3409MY/NOPB
€0.498
Each (On a Reel of 1000)
units
5A 42 V Buck Controller - 6 V 42 V - Surface Mount - 1 10 VSSOP - -
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. 533-3686
Mfr. Part No.LM2596S-3.3/NOPB
€4.84
Each
units
3A - Buck Controller, Inverting - 4.5 V 40 V Fixed Surface Mount - 1 5 D2PAK (TO-263) Yes -
RS Stock No. 533-8142
Mfr. Part No.LM2675N-ADJ/NOPB
€3.59
Each
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1A 37 V Buck Controller 1.21 V 8 V 40 V Adjustable Through Hole - 1 8 MDIP 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. 100-5902
Mfr. Part No.LM2675N-ADJ/NOPB
€3.052
Each (In a Tube of 40)
units
1A 37 V Buck Controller 1.21 V 8 V 40 V Adjustable Through Hole - 1 8 MDIP Yes -
RS Stock No. 751-3112
Mfr. Part No.AP8802SG-13
€1.266
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
1A 50 V Buck Controller -0.3 V 8 V 48 V Adjustable Surface Mount - 2 8 SOIC - -
RS Stock No. 197-7367
Mfr. Part No.LMZ12003TZE-ADJ/NOPB
€8.503
Each (In a Tube of 45)
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3A 6 V - 0.8 V 4.5 V - Adjustable - - 1 7 TO-PMOD - -
RS Stock No. 168-5073
Mfr. Part No.TPS54334DDA
€1.675
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. 162-5040
Mfr. Part No.LM22670TJ-ADJ/NOPB
€1.912
Each (On a Reel of 1000)
units
3A - Buck Controller, Inverting 1.258 V 4.5 V 42 V Adjustable Surface Mount - 1 7 D2PAK (TO-263) Yes -
RS Stock No. 920-3659
Mfr. Part No.LM2674M-ADJ/NOPB
€2.741
Each (In a Tube of 95)
units
500mA 37 V Buck Controller 1.21 V 8 V 40 V Adjustable Surface Mount - 1 8 SOIC Yes -
New
RS Stock No. 218-4842
Mfr. Part No.ST1PS02AQTR
€1.404
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
400mA 3.3 V Step Down -0.3 V 1.8 V - Selectable - - 2 12 TQFN12 - -