Limitations of switching voltage regulators



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Texas Tech University


Nearly almost every electronic system utilizes a regulated power supply as an essential requirement for its proper operation. Switching voltage regulation is the technique by which an unregulated source power is efficiently converted to regulated load power through the use of controlled power switching devices and energy transfer elements. These switching voltage regulators uses magnetic components like inductors, for storing and transferring energy, which are bulky in size and often suffers from EMI, winding and core losses. Depending on the power level, modem IC switching regulators may integrate the entire converter except for the main magnetic element and the input/output capacitors. Presence of inductor in the converter means the converter size is bulky even at higher frequencies. These are the major limitations for a switching regulator to take an integrated circuit (IC) form.

Switched-mode voltage converter circuits that utilize 'capacitors only' as the energy transfer elements are called switched capacitor voltage converters or charge pump voltage converters. Switched-capacitor voltage converters are attractive because they use no magnetic components and are easily amenable to monolithic integration. At the beginning, this thesis describes about the operation, design and simulation of various techniques used in voltage conversion using switching voltage regulators aiming at decreasing the size of the reactive elements. Finally, it describes about the new kind of switching voltage regulators having no inductors called switched-capacitor voltage regulators or charge-pump voltage regulators.