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Application Note : DCDC Converters (Switching Regulators)

PWM Control and VFM Control

Ricoh’s DCDC converters are pulse-width modulation (PWM) controlled or variable-frequency modulation (VFM) controlled. VFM is also called pulse-frequency modulation (PFM).

PWM Control

The oscillator frequency is constant and the pulse width (ON time) changes according to the amount of output load.

PWM Control

VFM Control

The pulse width (ON time) is constant and the oscillator frequency changes according to the amount of output load.

VFM Control

The features of VFM control and PWM control are as described below.

  Oscillator Frequency Pulse Width
Light Load Condition Noise
Efficiency Ripple Voltage
VFM Control Change Constant Good High Difficult
PWM Control Constant Change Not Good Low Easy
  • *1Noise suppression of VFM control can be difficult because oscillator frequency is inconsistent and it affects noise level.
    Noise suppression of PWM control is relatively easier because oscillator frequency is constant and it does not affect noise level.

Tap to see the table

Ricoh’s DCDC converters include the products that are only operated by PWM control and the products that can be automatically switched between PWM mode and VFM mode according to the load condition.

RP506K Efficiency vs. Output Current



Forced PWM Control

The general PWM control DCDC converters may cause ringing in the Lx voltage because there is a zero current period to prevent a reverse coil current in low load condition.
However the forced PWM control DCDC converters do not cause ringing by forcing them into PWM control in low load condition.
Although the reverse coil current is present, the reverse current is not wasted because it flows to the output in the next cycle.

General PWM Control

General PWM Control

Forced PWM Control

Forced PWM Control

Ricoh forced PWM control DCDC converters are able to switch automatically between PWM and VFM control.
If one prefers that the supply current and efficiency are most important, please select automatic PWM/VFM switching mode.

In that case the DCDC converter operates in VFM control during low load conditions.
If one prefers that no ringing in low load condition should appear and operation with a constant frequency, please select fixed forced PWM control.

Forced PWM Control Available

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