DC to DC Converters

An introduction

Many people use DC to DC converters every day without being aware of it. DC to DC converters are small, lightweight and highly efficient power supplies which use a semiconductor switching element. These converters are key components in many mobile communication devices and are also used by commercial and military systems. In some cases the size of the DC to DC converter can govern the size and performance of the device.

Power density, reliability and efficient performance are key characteristics of DC to DC converters. When the transformers and inductors within these converters are large and bulky, performance of the device can be limited.

What does a DC to DC converter do?

In essence, a DC to DC converter transforms direct current voltage from one voltage level to another. And the converter switches a semiconductor switch device to convert a DC voltage and then conducts a feedback to control or maintain an output voltage to a certain value. The most common use for a DC to DC converter is to amplify or invert input DC voltages and then output them as negative voltages.

It is the DC to DC converter's ability to receive low input voltages and consume low power that makes them ideal for use in all types of electronic devices. In a portable DC-powered device (such as a mobile DC-powered communication receiver, a wireless modem or handset), a DC to DC converter is provided to lower the level of output of the source.

Electric power from the battery is then discharged, according to the amount of power consumed and the type of operation of the equipment. This results in a lower output in the battery. In order to maintain the voltage value of the power source of the equipment (constant to the charge in the battery voltage), a DC to DC converter is required.

Where are DC to DC converters used?

These components are most frequently used in computer systems and other types of electronic devices such as personal digital assistants. This type of converter is often used when the application for an electronic device requires an old war-regulated voltage and overload protection.

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