We offer a suitable DC/DC converter for every application. The selection of size or function is extremely wide. For that reason we are set up to assist you in the process of finding the right DC/DC converter module for your design from our huge DC/DC converter portfolio.
What function does a DC/DC converter have?
DC/DC converters are electronic components in a design that provide a specific voltage and isolation between input and output.
They can be used for many different reasons and provide, in a simple way, all different voltages used by electronic components in one single board. The isolation within the DC/DC converter allows the design engineer to comply with the safety regulations and solve issues such as interferences and failure protection. DC/DC converters also offer a flexible and clean solution to Distributed Power Architecture systems.
The function of a DC/DC converter module is to meet at least one of the following requirements:
One of the most common applications for a DC/DC converter is to step down the voltage from a higher voltage source (for example a 24V industrial power supply) to a lower voltage needed at the load (like a 3.3V microprocessor).
DC/DC converters can also be used for the opposite reason, to step up the voltage from a low voltage (such as a 5V board level system bus) to a higher voltage needed in external systems (for example a 12V peripheral such as a motor).
Voltages generated from a battery decrease over time. If a system needs a stable voltage and it is powered by a battery, a DC/DC converter is needed to stabilize the voltage source. Regulated DC/DC converters can accept a wide input voltage range and convert it into a regulated and stable voltage. A good example of this would be a 12V battery that usually has a voltage range from 14V down to 9V. By adding a +12V DC/DC converter, the design assures that the load will always see a fixed 12V.
The second reason to use a DC/DC converter is to isolate a primary circuit from a secondary circuit. This is important to prevent a sensitive component from interferences coming from other components. As an example, this figure shows a noisy circuit A (a high current motor driver) and circuit B (a motor speed controller) that are electrically separated by a DC/DC converter.
One of the main applications for isolated circuits is found in the medical industry. They need to comply with very strict safety standards and regulations, such as UL or CSA. The additional isolation provided by a DC/DC converter is specifically required for electronic systems that are directly attached to patients.
Other applications connected to the “outside world”, such as USB interfaces, would also require isolation to prevent an excess of voltage leaving a device due to an internal failure.
DC/DC converters are also used in distributed power architecture systems for many reasons including: efficiency and reliability compared to central multiple outputs supply, as well as flexibility and cost. Larger, centralized power supplies can have significant voltage drops, and are expensive and inflexible.
For more information on DC/DC conversion theory - read up in our Book Of Knowledge.
Technical progress in DC/DC converters
It's not all too long ago that a transformer, rectifier and linear regulator was the main technology in power conversion - nowadays the DC/DC converter gradually edges out the linear regulator and the primary-side switching controller is replacing the simple 50Hz mains transformer.
The immense technical progress of new circuits, components, and materials has made it possible to increase the performance and to improve the thermal behavior, while simultaneously substantially reducing the size, weight and cost of power supplies. Consequently, switching regulators are used today in large numbers and are the standard technology in DC/DC power conversion.
Modern DC/DC converters are designed to provide efficient power conversion to deliver a controlled, safe and well-regulated DC power supply for a variety of electronic instruments, devices and systems.
Modular vs. discrete
Modular DC/DC converters were always considered to be more expensive than discrete solutions. However, with the commissioning of its own SMT factory, we are able to offer selected converter series at very attractive prices. With economy of scale, we realize with our Low Cost Modules cost savings of up to 50% compared to similar products without compromising quality.
It is not only the design engineer that wins by using our products, but also the buyer as procurement begins and ends with just one single module. No more specifying and sourcing of multiple components.
Unexpected problems such as component tolerances, testing failures and EMC issues coming from discrete designs can lead to horrendous delays and re-design costs. The planned launch of a product can quickly be delayed by months.
Tested and certified DC/DC modules not only save on development time but also reduce the risk of time-to-market delays and simplify the final certification process.
With simply adding a few components to the DC/DC converter, its EMC compliance can reach EN55022, Class A or Class B.
Standard case sizes, footprints and pinouts guarantee an easy integration into your design.
Whether regulated or unregulated, isolated to 10kVDC, or carefully designed for extremely high ambient temperatures of +100°C - we offer a suitable modular DC/DC converter for every application.
Unregulated DC/DC converters are typically used in general purpose power isolation and voltage matching applications and feature a full industrial operating temperature range of -40°C up to +85°C without derating.
Regulated DC/DC converters are designed for industrial applications, can drive high capacitive loads and operate over a broad temperature range without derating. Furthermore they provide stable output voltages when the input voltage suddenly changes.