DC/DC Converters: Everything You Wanted To Know About Them
2019-12-28, 23:00–23:50, Chaos-West Stage

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!