Switching regulators: Necessary evil may not be so evil

Davidson, Mark F.
July 2004
Portable Design;Jul2004, Vol. 10 Issue 7, p10
How do engineers maintain sufficient battery life in cellular telephones while at the same time minimizing pcb space? One answer is step-down switching regulators. The benefit of an inductive step-down switching regulator is higher efficiency. By using an inductive synchronous buck regulator with 95 percent efficiency at 1.8 Vout/3.6 Vin/200 mAout, delivering 360 mW costs 379 mW. Under all conditions, this power must be tightly regulated with low output voltage ripple, and in many cases, minimal radiated energy. The challenges to the power management vendors are: high integration; ability to run at 2MHz switching frequencies; stability with small inductors and ceramic capacitors; and high bandwidth for transient response.


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