New DC-DC Converters Pack Big Performance in Small Packages

February 12, 2024 by Darshil Patel

In this roundup, we highlight three new DC-DC converters that emerged in the last few months, each driven by package and performance improvements.

Smaller and more efficient electronics call for smaller and more efficient DC-DC converters. Developers are shrinking the footprints of these devices with new packaging technologies, such as surface-mount, chip-on-board, and integrated passive components. This not only saves space but also reduces parasitic losses, boosting efficiency. 


Recom's new DC-DC converters for railroad applications

Recom's new DC-DC converters for railroad applications. Image used courtesy of Recom

In this roundup, we look at three new DC-DC converters released in the last few months and highlight their key design features.


Traco Introduces Medical DC-DC Converters

Last month, Traco Power released its new TIM 6 series of 6-W medical DC-DC converters. These devices feature 5,000 VAC reinforced isolation, up to 87% efficiency, and a low leakage current of 2uA or less. The converters are reported to perform reliably over the temperature range of -40°C to 95°C. They are safety-approved for medical and other applications like transportation, control and measurement, or IGBT drivers.



Traco TIM 6 series of DC-DC converter. Image used courtesy of Traco Power

The new converters offer a wide input range of 9–18 / 18–36 / 3–675 VDC and single or dual 5/12/15 VDC outputs. 

Traco isn't alone in the market of new medical DC-DC converters. Last year, CUI Inc. announced its PGNM-S and PGNP-S series of isolated DC-DC converters, which target medical instruments, consumer electronics, EV charging, and industrial electronics applications. 


CUI’s medical-grade converters

CUI’s medical-grade converters. Image used courtesy of CUI Inc.


They offer a very high 6,000 VAC isolation in all four of their 1-W and 2-W SIP converter series. They can also operate in temperature ranges from -40°C to +105°C.


TDK-Lambda Touts Quarter-Brick Footprint DC-DC Converters

TDK Corporation has introduced its latest offering of 30–75 W-rated TDK-Lambda PYQ series quarter-brick footprint DC-DC converters. The PYQ50 devices feature a 12:1 input range (14–160 VDC), and the PYQ75 offers an 8:1 range (9–75 VDC), making them compatible with many standard system voltages, including 12 V, 24 V, 48 V, 72 V, and 110 VDC.


TDK’s quarter-brick converter

TDK’s quarter-brick converter. Image used courtesy of TDK Corporation

The new series achieves up to 90% efficiency, lowering heat generation and extending operation in various temperature ranges, from -40°C to +105°C (with derating at high temperatures). In addition, they boast 3,000 V input/output isolation to meet high-voltage requirements. Their silicone-potted plastic case enhances resistance to shock and vibration, making them useful for harsh environments.


Recom Unveils Railway-Compliant DC-DC Converters

The last spotlight in our roundup comes from Recom, which recently launched the RMD150 and RMD300 series of DC-DC converters. Recom offers these devices in a wide input range of 16.8 V to 137 V continuous and 14.4 V to 154 V short-term—compliant to all common railway standards. The converters come in two power ratings: 150 W (RMD150) and 300 W (RMD300). Both feature 94% efficiency, reducing 40% heat dissipation than other solutions, according to the company.


Block diagram of the RMD150

Block diagram of the RMD150. Image used courtesy of Recom

Both the RMD150 and RMD300 devices are housed in metal casings for better thermal management and IP-20 ingress protection for chassis mounting, enabling natural convection cooling. The DC-DC converters can also operate from -40°C to +70°C. Recom claims the devices can even handle brief excursions to +85°C for 15 minutes at full power without derating.


A Focus on Compact, High-Power Devices 

These three new DC-DC converters demonstrate how manufacturers are rethinking packaging to meet the stringent size requirements of modern power applications. Beyond packaging, however, many new DC-DC converters are based on wide-bandgap semiconductors, namely, SiC or GaN, to reap higher switching speeds and lower heat generation. These features pack higher power density in a smaller package—all while improving efficiency.