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 Maximum Switching Frequency Pin Count Package Type Switching Regulator
RS Stock No. 880-5386
Mfr. Part No.ST1S10PHR
kr 35,092
Each (In a Pack of 5)
Units
- - - - 2.5 V 18 V Adjustable Surface Mount - - 1.2 MHz 8 PowerSO -
RS Stock No. 165-5347
Mfr. Part No.ST1S10PHR
kr 16,431
Each (On a Reel of 2500)
Units
- - - - 2.5 V 18 V Adjustable Surface Mount - - 1.2 MHz 8 PowerSO -
RS Stock No. 920-3586
Mfr. Part No.LM2596S-5.0/NOPB
kr 93,17
Each (In a Tube of 45)
Units
3A - Buck Controller, Inverting - 4.5 V 40 V Fixed Surface Mount - 1 173 kHz 5 D2PAK (TO-263) Yes
RS Stock No. 533-3692
Mfr. Part No.LM2596S-5.0/NOPB
kr 82,30
Each
Units
3A - Buck Controller, Inverting - 4.5 V 40 V Fixed Surface Mount - 1 173 kHz 5 D2PAK (TO-263) Yes
RS Stock No. 533-3490
Mfr. Part No.LM2592HVS-5.0/NOPB
kr 103,71
Each
Units
2A - Buck Controller, Inverting - 4.5 V 60 V Fixed Surface Mount - 1 173 kHz 5 D2PAK (TO-263) Yes
RS Stock No. 168-6458
Mfr. Part No.L4971D
kr 55,211
Each (In a Tube of 49)
Units
1.5A 50 V Buck Controller 3.3 V 8 V 55 V Adjustable Surface Mount - 1 300 kHz 16 SOIC W Yes
RS Stock No. 920-3542
Mfr. Part No.LM2592HVS-5.0/NOPB
kr 87,88
Each (In a Tube of 45)
Units
2A - Buck Controller, Inverting - 4.5 V 60 V Fixed Surface Mount - 1 173 kHz 5 D2PAK (TO-263) Yes
RS Stock No. 751-2923
Mfr. Part No.AP1509-50SG-13
kr 19,634
Each (In a Pack of 5)
Units
2A 5 V Buck Controller - 4.5 V 22 V Fixed Surface Mount - 1 150 kHz 8 SOP Yes
RS Stock No. 145-3921
Mfr. Part No.LM2575TV-ADJG
Brandonsemi
kr 25,737
Each (In a Tube of 50)
Units
1A 37 V Buck Controller 1.23 V 4.75 V 40 V Adjustable Through Hole - 1 52 kHz 5 TO-220 Yes
RS Stock No. 686-8271
Mfr. Part No.L4971D
kr 64,14
Each
Units
1.5A 50 V Buck Controller 3.3 V 8 V 55 V Adjustable Surface Mount - 1 300 kHz 16 SOIC W Yes
RS Stock No. 786-2353
Mfr. Part No.LM2575TV-ADJG
Brandonsemi
kr 29,57
Each (In a Pack of 2)
Units
1A 37 V Buck Controller 1.23 V 4.75 V 40 V Adjustable Through Hole - 1 52 kHz 5 TO-220 Yes
RS Stock No. 822-9906
Mfr. Part No.LT3990EMSE#PBF
kr 95,45
Each
Units
350mA 5 V Step Down 1.195 V 4.2 V 62 V Adjustable Surface Mount - 1 2.76 MHz 16 MSOP Yes
RS Stock No. 922-8282
Mfr. Part No.AP1509-50SG-13
kr 8,422
Each (On a Reel of 2500)
Units
2A 5 V Buck Controller - 4.5 V 22 V Fixed Surface Mount - 1 150 kHz 8 SOP Yes
RS Stock No. 651-5693
Mfr. Part No.LM2832ZMY/NOPB
kr 25,33
Each
Units
2A 4.5 V Buck Controller 0.6 V 3 V 5.5 V Adjustable Surface Mount - 1 3000 kHz 8 MSOP Yes
RS Stock No. 170-9383
Mfr. Part No.MP4420GJ-P
kr 20,381
Each (On a Reel of 500)
Units
2A - Step Down 0.8 V 4 V 30 V Adjustable Surface Mount - 1 500 kHz 8 TSOT-23 Yes
RS Stock No. 920-3560
Mfr. Part No.LM2594M-ADJ/NOPB
kr 48,12
Each (In a Tube of 95)
Units
500mA 37 V Buck Controller, Inverting 1.2 V 4.5 V 40 V Adjustable Surface Mount - 1 173 kHz 8 SOIC Yes
RS Stock No. 922-2353
Mfr. Part No.LM22680MR-ADJ/NOPB
kr 57,953
Each (In a Tube of 95)
Units
2A 37 V Step Down 1.25 V 4.5 V 42 V Adjustable Surface Mount - 1 500 kHz 8 HSOP Yes
RS Stock No. 100-3981
Mfr. Part No.LM2576T-5.0/NOPB
kr 35,967
Each (In a Tube of 45)
Units
3A - Buck Controller, Inverting - 4 V 40 V Fixed Through Hole - 1 58 kHz 5 TO-220 Yes
RS Stock No. 533-8091
Mfr. Part No.LM2576T-5.0/NOPB
kr 42,40
Each
Units
3A - Buck Controller, Inverting - 4 V 40 V Fixed Through Hole - 1 58 kHz 5 TO-220 Yes
RS Stock No. 917-5863
Mfr. Part No.MP9942GJ-P
kr 34,46
Each (In a Pack of 2)
Units
2A - Step Down 0.8 V 4 V 30 V Adjustable Surface Mount - 1 500 kHz 8 TSOT-23 Yes