Step-down DC/DC converter


The 48V power architecture is one of the more recently introduced architecture to improve computer power supply efficiency. However, conversion from 48V to 12V or down to ~1V needed by the CPU is a grand challenge. Efficiency and footprint are the key drivers as the converter is placed on the motherboard. Previous methods include Buck, Switch Tank, Multi-stage Switch-capacitor Resonant, and Fibonacci Converters. An international race is underway to find the best solution.

Technology description

Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have developed a family of new DC/DC converters that have high step-down ratios and do not need inductors. The energy transfer is very efficient compared with existing solutions, the number of semiconductor device is minimized, and control is simple and novel.


  • High efficiency: up to 99% for 48V to 12V
  • High density: >1000W/cm2 in 48V to 12V solution
  • Low cost
  • Simple and reliable control
  • Modular extension capability
  • High step-down ratio
  • Small semiconductor and capacitor; no inductor or small inductor

Fig. 1: Schematic diagram of the proposed circuit design

Fig. 2: Vout/Vin ratio as a function of the device number