AC-DC Converter Chips Information



Image Credits: Digi-Key Corporation and Texas Instruments

AC DC converter chips adjust AC input into DC output. These chips have a specific integrated circuit (IC) package type.

How AC DC Converter Chips Work

AC DC converter chips rectify AC input into DC output. They also adjust the voltage level through a regulator and smooth the pulsating DC through a capacitor. This video explains AC to DC conversion.

Video Credit: Jeffrey Regester / CC BY 3.0

Types of AC DC Conversion Chips

  • Linear AC DC converters are inexpensive and simple. A disadvantage of the device is they are inefficient since they siphon off excess power as heat.
  • SMPS (switch/switched/switching-mode power supply) shift very quickly between full-on and full-off states via a switching regulator (using transistors such as BJTs, MOSFETs, or IGBTs). This minimizes wasted energy. They are also smaller and lighter. However, switching converters can cause electrical noise problems and may have a poor power factor.


Important specifications when selecting AC DC converter chips include,

  • AC input range (e.g., 85-264 VAC) or are set (e.g., 115, 208, or 230 VAC only).
  • Output of DC can be specified with respect to watts (e.g., 3 to 1,000), volts (e.g., 3 to 380), and amps (positive or negative; 1.6 to 6,000).
  • Operating temperature allowances are bracketed (e.g., -20 to 70 C).


AC DC converter chips feature several main characteristics such as,

  • Converter chips can have one or more outputs.
  • Protection add-ons include overcurrent, overvoltage, or short circuit.
  • Power factor correction is available to counteract distortion and raise the power factor. 
  • These chips may be switched on/off remotely.
  • The device containing the converter chip can be ruggedized.


Converter chips are found in cell phone chargers, computers, and other electronic consumer devices. They are also used for industrial machinery, as well as medical, military, and telecommunications equipment.


Introduction to Power Supplies

AC DC Converter

AC-DC Voltage Conversion

Basic Rectifier Circuits

Switched Mode Power Supply Tutorial