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. 910-1584
Mfr. Part No.MIC4682YM
BrandMicrochip
€3.25
Each (In a Pack of 2)
units
2A - Buck Controller - 4 V 34 V Adjustable Surface Mount - 1 8 SOIC Yes -
New
RS Stock No. 214-9155
Mfr. Part No.MAX20006EAFOB/VY+
€2.976
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
6A 5 V Synchronous Buck Converter 36 V 3 V - Fixed - - 1 17 FC2QFN - -
RS Stock No. 197-7221
Mfr. Part No.LM2594M-3.3/NOPB
€2.741
Each (In a Tube of 95)
units
500mA 3.168 V Step Down 3.432 V 4.5 V - Fixed - - 1 8 SOIC - -
New
RS Stock No. 216-7825
Mfr. Part No.MAXM17633AMG+T
€3.435
Each (On a Reel of 2500)
units
1A 3.3 V Buck Converter 0.9 V 4.5 V - Fixed - - 1 24 USLIC - -
RS Stock No. 102-3574
Mfr. Part No.L5973D
€1.637
Each (In a Tube of 100)
units
2A 35 V Buck Controller 1.235 V 4 V 36 V Adjustable Surface Mount - 1 8 HSOP Yes 10 mV
RS Stock No. 798-1170
Mfr. Part No.LMZ13610TZ/NOPB
€17.28
Each
units
10A 6 V Buck Controller 0.8 V 6 V 36 V Adjustable Surface Mount - 1 11 TO-PMOD Yes ±0.2 %
RS Stock No. 858-0646
Mfr. Part No.LTC3618EUF#PBF
€8.11
Each
units
3A - Step Down - 2.25 V 5.5 V Adjustable Surface Mount - 2 24 QFN Yes -
RS Stock No. 197-7372
Mfr. Part No.LMZ21700SILT
€3.62
Each (In a Pack of 2)
units
650mA 6 V - 0.9 V 3 V - Adjustable - - 1 8 USiP - -
RS Stock No. 100-3981
Mfr. Part No.LM2576T-5.0/NOPB
€2.038
Each (In a Tube of 45)
units
3A - Buck Controller, Inverting - 4 V 40 V Fixed Through Hole - 1 5 TO-220 Yes -
RS Stock No. 533-8029
Mfr. Part No.LM2575HVT-5.0/NOPB
€4.72
Each
units
1A - Buck Controller, Inverting - 4 V 60 V Fixed Through Hole - 1 5 TO-220 Yes -
RS Stock No. 545-7108
Mfr. Part No.LTC1435ACS#PBF
€8.19
Each
units
- - - - - - - Surface Mount - - 16 SOIC - -
RS Stock No. 809-5365
Mfr. Part No.TL2575HV-05IKTTR
€2.675
Each (In a Pack of 2)
units
1A 5.275 V Step Down 4.75 V 4.75 V 60 V Adjustable Surface Mount - 1 5 D2PAK (TO-263) Yes ±4 %, ±5 %
RS Stock No. 196-2329
Mfr. Part No.MIC33M656-SAYMP-TR
BrandMicrochip
€3.55
Each (In a Pack of 2)
units
6A 1.28 V - 0.6 V 2.4 V 5.5 V Fixed Surface Mount - 1 53 QFN - 0.06 (Typ.) %
RS Stock No. 923-2391
Mfr. Part No.PTN78020WAD
€22.213
Each (In a Tube of 20)
units
6A - Buck Controller - - - - Through Hole - 1 7 DIP Module Yes ±10
RS Stock No. 704-4524
Mfr. Part No.EL7532IYZ
€4.71
Each
units
2A - Buck Controller 0.8 V 2.5 V 5.5 V Adjustable Surface Mount - 1 10 MSOP Yes 0.1 %/V
New
RS Stock No. 212-2566
Mfr. Part No.MAX77976EFD+
€1.768
Each (In a Tray of 490)
units
5.5A 4.46 V Boost/Buck Controller 4.15 V 3.8 V - - - - - 32 FC2QFN - -
RS Stock No. 145-7162
Mfr. Part No.TPS54232D
€1.187
Each (In a Tube of 75)
units
2A - Buck Controller 0.8 V 3.5 V 28 V Adjustable Surface Mount - 1 8 SOIC Yes -
RS Stock No. 204-2481
Mfr. Part No.MAXM17634AMG+
€4.372
Each (On a Tape of 10)
units
2 12 Buck Converter 0.9 4.5 - Adjustable - - 1 24 USLIC - -
RS Stock No. 506-0732
Mfr. Part No.LT3434EFE#PBF
€10.38
Each
units
6.5A - Buck Controller - 2.4 V 60 V Adjustable Surface Mount - 1 16 TSSOP Yes -
RS Stock No. 197-7369
Mfr. Part No.LMZ14203TZE-ADJ/NOPB
€11.772
Each (In a Tube of 45)
units
3A 6 V - 0.8 V 6 V - Adjustable - - 1 7 TO-PMOD - -