IC Switching Voltage Regulators Information

IC Switching Voltage Regulators InformationIC switching voltage regulators are integrated circuits (ICs) that store energy in an inductor, transformer, or capacitor and then use this storage device to transfer energy from the input to the output in discrete packets over a low-resistance switch.


Feedback circuitry regulates the energy transfer to maintain a constant voltage within the load limits of the circuit.


Types of Voltage Regulators


There are several types of IC switching voltage regulators.


  • Buck or step-down converters convert a higher DC input voltage to a lower DC output voltage of the same polarity.
  • Boost or step-up converters convert a lower DC input voltage to a higher DC output voltage of the same polarity.
  • Buck-boost converters can be used for either step-up or step-down conversions, and to reverse or invert voltage polarity.

IC switching voltage regulators are more efficient than IC linear voltage regulators, but produce greater amounts of noise.  


IC Switching Voltage Regulators Specifications


Important specifications for IC switching voltage regulators include regulated output voltage, input voltage, output current, switching frequency, efficiency, duty cycle and operating temperature.


  • Both the output regulated voltage (Volt) and the input voltage (VIN) are minimum and maximum amounts in continuous mode (DC). The output voltage can be fixed, or adjusted to a value within a specified range.
  • The output current (IOUT) is measured under specified conditions.
  • Efficiency, the ratio of output power to input power, measures the ability of IC switching voltage regulators to convert input energy into output energy. For example, an efficiency of 100% means that all of the input energy is transferred to the output.
  • The duty cycle is the ratio between the on and off time of the output transistor.
  • The operating temperature is a full-required range.

IC Switching Voltage Regulators InformationFeatures


IC switching voltage regulators are available with a variety of features. Features may include:


  • More than one output or channel.
  • An internal circuit to control the amount of current produced, or an error flag for monitoring outputs that drop below a nominal value.
  • Reverse voltage protection prevents damage in applications where users can accidentally reverse battery polarity.
  • Thermal shutdown protection turns off IC switching regulators when the temperature exceeds a predefined limit.

  • Shutdown (inhibit) pins are used to disable regulator outputs.



IC switching voltage regulators are available in a variety of IC package types.


  • Dual in-line packages (DIP) can be made of ceramic (CIP) or plastic (PDIP).
  • Quad flat packages (QFPs) contain a large number of fine, flexible, gull wing shaped leads. SC-70, one of the smallest available IC packages, is well-suited for applications where space is extremely limited.
  • Small outline (SO) packages are available with 8, 14, or 20 pins.
  • Transistor outline (TO) packages are commonly available. TO-92 is a single in-line package used for low power devices. TO-220 is suitable for high power, medium-current, and fast-switching products. TO-263 is the surface-mount version of the TO-220 package.

  • Other IC packages for IC switching voltage regulators include shrink small outline package (SSOP), small outline integrated circuit (SOIC), small outline package (SOP), small outline J-lead (SOJ), discrete package (DPAK), and power package (PPAK).



Voltage regulators must adhere to standards to ensure proper design and functionality.




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Fuji Electric Corp. of America | ROHM Semiconductor USA LLC