DC-DC Converter is widely used to effectively generate a voltage regulator from a source that may or may not be well controlled to a load that may or may not be constant. Here is a brief introduction to DC-DC Converter.
DC-DC Converter is a high-frequency power conversion circuit that uses high-frequency switches and inductors, transformers, and capacitors to smooth switching noise into the regulated DC voltage. A closed feedback loop maintains a constant voltage output, even if the input voltage and output current are changed. At 90% efficiency, they are usually more efficient and smaller than linear regulators. The downside is noise and complexity.
DC-DC Converter comes in two types: non-isolated and isolated. Isolation is determined by whether the input site is connected to the output site.
Four common topologies that manufacturers may find are a buck, boost, buck-boost, and SEPIC converters.
The step-down converter steps down to produce a voltage lower than the input voltage. The buck converter can be used to charge a lithium-ion battery from a 5V USB power supply to 4.2V.
Important performance features of DC-DC Converter
The DC-DC Converter datasheet has key parameters that describe its important characteristics. Here are some important features to consider in your design.
The efficiency of DC-DC Converter
Efficiency is the fraction of input power reaching the load. Some DC-DC Converters are more than 90% efficient. When using DC-DC Converter, it is a good practice to ensure that the power supply to the DC-DC Converter provides enough power to resolve the inefficiency issues. A good rule of thumb is to assume that a DC-DC Converter has an efficiency of 80% and then use a power supply of 125% of the load power. For example, if a 4W load is required, use a 4W DC-DC, driven by a 5W source. The efficiency of DC-DC converters is usually expressed as a curve, reaching maximum efficiency at a particular load current. At lower power output, the efficiency may be lower because the power required to power the circuit is equal to the load power.
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