Switching regulators replace linear regulators in automotive

Armstrong, Tony
April 2004
Portable Design;Apr2004, Vol. 10 Issue 4, p28
Wide operating voltages coupled with large transient voltages and temperature excursions combine to make life tough on electronic systems in automobiles. As a result, over the last several years, primarily due to thermal constraints, switching regulators have been replacing linear regulators. The benefits of a switcher, including increased efficiency and smaller footprint, outweigh the additional complexity and electromagnetic interference (EMI) considerations. Taking these constraints into account, for a switching regulator to be considered, it would need the following features and characteristics: a wide input operating range, good efficiency across a wide load range, low quiescent current during normal operation, standby, shutdown, and low thermal resistance, and minimal noise and EMI emissions.


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