You wouldn’t think that a voltage regulator would affect your life, but a new one from STMicroelectronics just may. The maker of semiconductors for power management has released the ST1S06, an advanced high-frequency step-down dc-dc converter. It’s targeted for use in storage devices ranging from hard drives to HD DVD and Blu-ray drives, as well as in portable devices like MP3 players and digital cameras. It allows for high efficiency, small size and light weight thanks to an innovative design that minimizes the need for external components.
The ST1S06 uses something called a synchronous rectification block which eliminates the need for an external Schottky Diode. More importantly, this innovation increases the efficiency of the device by as much as 95%. The design also allows for a much smaller Printed Circuit Board area. That means that devices can be much smaller while still including the same functionality. The increased efficiency will also increase battery life for devices. The regulators cost as little as 35 to 45 cents in high volumes for manufacturers.