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Power management in portable applications: Understanding the buck switchmode power converter

Posted: 06 Mar 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:portable application? buck switchmode? power converter?

Powering today's portable world poses many challenges for system designers. The abuse of batteries as a prime power source is on the rise. As a result, a burden has been placed on the system designer to create a sophisticated system utilizing the batteries' full potential.

Each application is unique, but one common theme rings through: maximize battery capacity usage. This theme directly relates to how efficiently the energy from the batteries is converted and transferred to the system load. No single method is ideal for all applications. Linear regulators, switched capacitor charge pumps, and inductor-based switchmode power converters are all employed. Each method has its associated advantages and disadvantages. It is the particular application with its individual requirements that determines which method will be the best to use.

This application note focuses on the fundamentals of inductor-based switchmode power converters. This is a "grass roots" approach to understanding switchmode power converters. Specifically, the basic buck circuit topology and its associated waveforms will be examined both empirically and mathematically.

View the PDF document for more information.

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