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Welcome to the CUI Product Spotlight on high efficiency dc switching regulators. Learn about the need to regulate voltage, industry applications, linear regulators vs. switching regulators, and CUI's available products.


  • Introduce CUI's switching regulators and their available configurations
  • Describe key features and specifications
  • Compare performance vs. comparable linear regulators
  • Describe typical applications

The Need to Regulate Voltage

Efficiency Diagram

In many applications, the system's input voltage supply can be unstable or vary over a wide range. Because most loads in today's electronic equipment are sensitive and require tightly regulated voltages, a regulator is often used to convert and stabilize the source voltage. For many years, the prevailing means to achieve this regulation has been to use linear regulators. Though inexpensive, linear regulators are highly inefficient, leading to issues such as high power loss and temperature rise due to efficiency levels in the range of 40~60%. Using a switching topology, CUI's switching regulators are able to achieve the same results in a much more efficient manner.

Linear vs. Switching Regulators

CUI's switching regulators hold distinct advantages compared to the industry standard LM78XX series linear regulator. As previously highlighted, the switching regulators offer efficiency levels that are far superior. This, in turn, removes the need for a heat sink, making the modules a much more compact solution. Additionally, many of CUI's switching regulators possess the ability to provide positive or negative output off of a positive voltage rail, allowing the series to address LM79XX applications, further increasing their flexibility.

Switching Regulator
Linear Regulator
  Switching Regulators Linear Regulators
Efficiency 84~97% 40~60%
Heat Sink Needed No Yes
Negative Conversion Option Yes No


Application Examples i.e. Cameras, GPS, and Medical Devices

CUI's switching regulators are ideal for a wide range of applications across many industries. They can be used in equipment where high temperature is a concern, such as automotive electronics, railway, industrial sensing, and outdoor security. These modules are preferred over linear regulators in devices where power consumption is a consideration, including infrared detectors, hand-held GPS devices, and portable communication equipment. Where ripple and noise are a concern, such as electrocardiography, spectrum therapy, weak signal detection, and processing equipment, CUI's switching regulators are also ideal. Finally, thanks to their small footprint, these dc-dc modules are favored in applications with limited board space, including handheld equipment, medical devices, and remote sensing.

Wide Temperature Range

Targeted applications: Automotive electronics, railway, industrial sensing, outdoor security

Low Power Consumption

Targeted applications: Infrared temperature detectors, hand-held GPS, portable communication equipment

Low Ripple & Noise

Targeted applications: Electrocardiography, spectrum therapy, weak signal detection, processing devices

Compact Package

Targeted applications: Handheld equipment, medical devices, remote sensing

Positive to Negative Conversion Option

Application circuit showing positive to negative conversion

The application circuit above demonstrates that with the addition of two small external capacitors, certain CUI switching regulator models are able to convert a positive input voltage to a negative output voltage, further increasing their flexibility. Please refer to the datasheet for details.

Available Products

With efficiency levels reaching 97%, CUI's dc switching regulators, ranging from 500 mA to 2 A, are an energy-efficient solution, greatly reducing power consumption near the load. With a wide operating temperature range from -40 to 85°C, users are able to avoid using a heat sink, which is necessary when implementing linear regulators and becomes very important in space critical applications. Additional features include a wide input voltage range up to 8:1, low ripple and noise, continuous short circuit protection, and pin compatibility with LM78XX and LM79XX series linear regulators, making the modules a perfect drop-in replacement.


  • 500 mA ~ 2 A output current options
  • SIP and SMT package types
  • High efficiency up to 97%
  • Compact, no need for a heat sink
  • Wide input range up to 9 ~ 72 Vdc
  • Low ripple & noise - 25 mV p-p typical
  • Continuous short circuit protection (auto recovery)
  • Wide operating temperature range from -40 to +85°C
  • Pin compatible with LM78XX and LM79XX linear regulators
  • Several models suitable for positive or negative output applications
500 mA 1.0 A
Unregulated 1 W
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Regulated 1 W
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CUI's switching regulators are an energy-efficient solution, greatly reducing power consumption near the load. The various series also offer a wide input range and numerous output voltages to make CUI's switching regulators the ideal drop-in replacement for a host of applications.