The assignee for this patent, patent number 8618781, is
Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "A DC/DC converter has been put to practical use as an output voltage controller which outputs a constant voltage based on supply of a DC input voltage. A DC/DC converter is a small, lightweight, high-efficiency DC power supply which uses a semiconductor switching element and is widely used in an electronic device.
"The basic functions of a DC/DC converter are to turn on and off a switching element at high frequencies, variably control the ratio between on-time and off-time (i.e., a duty ratio), and maintain a DC output voltage at a constant voltage. There are three types of DC/DC converters: a step-up type by which an output voltage higher than an input voltage is obtained; a step-down type by which an output voltage lower than an input voltage is obtained; and a step-down-step-up type by which a constant output voltage is obtained regardless of an input voltage.
"A step-down-step-up DC/DC converter has a choke inductor coupled in series or in parallel with a voltage output terminal, and alternates between a state in which energy is stored from the input side in the choke inductor by on-off action of a switching element, and a state in which energy is released from the choke inductor to the output side.
"A step-down-step-up DC/DC converter suffers from a larger power loss through switching operations than step-up and step-down types and is thus preferably used when an input voltage and an output voltage are close to each other. In practice, when an output voltage of 3 V is to be outputted, a step-down-step-up DC/DC converter is controlled to operate in a step-down mode when an input voltage supplied from a battery is more than 4 V, operate in a step-down-step-up mode when that the input voltage is more than 2.8 V and not more than 4 V, and operate in a step-up mode when the input voltage is not more than 2.8 V.
"Note that an H bridge step-down-step-up DC/DC converter which performs step-down-step-up operation by switching among four states, including state 1 to state 4, is known (see, e.g., Japanese Patent Laid-Open No. 2005-192312).
"In a conventional DC/DC converter, the number of switching operations increases with an increase in the number of states in which the DC/DC converter is made to operate. This increases a power loss and reduces the efficiency."
In addition to obtaining background information on this patent, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent: "According to an aspect of the apparatus described herein, an output voltage controller includes a first controller that controls current supply to an inductor based on an output voltage, and a second controller which controls current supply to the inductor by controlling a period when an input end to which an input voltage is inputted, the inductor, and an output end from which the output voltage is outputted are coupled based on the input voltage.
"The object and advantages of the invention will be realized and attained by means of the elements and combinations particularly pointed out in the claims.
"It is to be understood that both the foregoing general description and the following detailed description are exemplary and explanatory and are not restrictive of the invention, as claimed."
For more information, see this patent:
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