DC/DC Converters: Everything You Wanted To Know About Them

Zoé Bőle

Playlists: '36c3' videos starting here / audio

# Non-isolated DC/DC converters

DC-to-DC converters are cheap and ubiquitous, but many still feel uncomfortable using them. In this talk I will talk about step-down (buck) and step-up (boost) converters, covering the basics in an easy-to-understand form, and touching on the knowledge you need to build your own.

This talk will be enjoyable for you if you have basic electronics knowledge: you understand what voltage, resistance, and current mean.

- Theory of operation explained with illustrations
- Synchronous and asynchronous converters: advantages and disadvantages
- How to chose and evaluate cheap DC/DC converter modules you can buy online
- Efficiency and sources of energy loss
- Features you might want: Enable, Current Limiting, Undervoltage Protection
- Control modes: voltage mode, current mode, and hysteretic mode
- Unstable converters, and how to fix them
- Switching noise, and how to deal with it
- What if you need more voltage? Boost converters!