Skip to main content Skip to first level navigation
Skip to main content First level navigation Menu
Contact Us About Us ricoh.com
Breadcrumbs
  • Home
  • FAQ
  • What is the difference between DC/DC converters and LDO regulators?
Facebook (Open link in new window) YouTube (Open link in new window) LinkedIn (Open link in new window)
Main content
Question

What is the difference between DC/DC converters and LDO regulators?

Answer

LDO Linear RegulatorsDC/DC Switching Regulators

Both of DC/DC converters and LDO regulators convert an input direct current into a different direct current. The way of converting direct currents differs from each other. DC/DC converters regulate electric power by turning on and off switching elements (FETs, etc.). On the other hand, LDO regulators regulate power supply by controlling on-resistance of FETs.

DC/DC converters are highly efficient in converting electricity by the switching control. Depending on conditions such as output current, the efficiency can reach about 95%. Instead, there are some disadvantages. First, output voltages from this type of regulators contain ripples and switching noise, not suitable for noise-sensitive devices. Second, due to their complex control method, many external components are necessary compared with LDO regulators. Designing PCBs using DC/DC converters tends to be more difficult and more cost-consuming than those using LDO regulators.

The control method of LDO regulators is simple, so designing PCBs is easy. However, the conversion efficiency is inferior to that of DC/DC converters. In order to convert 5 V into 3 V, the efficiency by LDO regulators is 60%, while DC/DC converters can achieve 90% or more. Besides, if dropout voltage and output current are large, heat dissipation must be considered.

  DC/DC converters (switching regulators) LDO regulators (linear regulators)
Efficiency High Low
Price High Low
Noise Loud Low
Design Difficult Easy
Components Many Few
Load Current Large Small
Contact Us

If you need more information to solve your problem, please contact us with the inquiry form below.

Contact Us