by Steven Keeping:
Such is the popularity of DC-to-DC voltage converters (“switching regulators”)––due to their high efficiency across wide input- and output-voltage ranges––that chip makers have focused a lot of research dollars on squeezing the essential components of the devices into modules. These modules typically include pulse-width-modulation (PWM) controllers and switching elements in a single, compact package, easing the design work for the engineer.
However, until recently, it has proven difficult to include the energy-storage device (the inductor) inside the package. This has dictated that the engineer must specify, source, and design-in the inductor as a peripheral component, adding complexity and consuming board space. Now, a new generation of high-frequency switching regulators has enabled the use of smaller inductors enabling the devices to be housed inside the component vendor’s package.
The Advantages (and Drawbacks) of DC-to-DC Voltage Converters with Integrated Inductors – [Link]