Boost Converter IC - 2014 market analysis and overview.

1. Manufacturer

2. Switch current limit

3. Input voltage for startup

4. Output voltage

5. Switching frequency, efficiency and inductor size

6. Special feature Automotive AEC-Q100

7. Summary


Optional: Start page for DC/DC Converters with information, details and start choices to search for Boost (step-up), Buck (step-down) or Buck-Boost (step-up-down) Converter. Or, jump directly into the DC/DC Boost Converter IC parametric search with internal switches.


Introduction to DC/DC Boost Converter market analysis

Market overview on available DC/DC boost converters. Detailed look into features, parameters, manufacturer and statistics. Currently 1384 boost converter IC are listed and available for search. All converters feature internal switches (MOSFET) and have either a dedicated boost topology or are multi-topology based. This means a product can be operating in boost or in buck topology.

The term boost regulator (or step-up regulator) is also common and used in the North America region, most other regions and countries use converter. Looking into the Google index, the term boost converter is about 15 times more searched then boost regulator.

The DC/DC boost converter segment is quite big compared to all available Selectors at our parametric search engine. This is also due to the large number of boost converters with preset output voltage.

It exists a huge range of products. Starting at very simple non-synchronous, low power boost converters with no features all the way up to highly integrated, synchronous and feature rich boost regulator with low external component count and small total solution size. Power and current levels can range from a few mA output current for bias supply or few hundred mA output current from a battery supply all the way to several ampere output current via 5V or 12V system rails.


1. Manufacturer Boost Converter analysis

Overview on number of manufacturer and products by each manufacturer. Currently 32 IC manufacturer are listed and almost every player in the power management domain is represented. The product count ranges from a single product to over 120. Details are available in the next chart and in the manufacturer matrix.



2 groups can be identified.

  1. There are 3 manufacturer which clearly dominate the market regarding product count, each with 100+ boost converter in their portfolio:
    1. Linear Technology
    2. Maxim
    3. Texas Instruments
  2. The remaining 29 manufacturer are very divers on product count, ranging from a handful of products up to a decent portfolio choice with 20 to 40 products.

Group A with only the top 3 manufacturer for boost converter are accountable for a share of ~49%. The remaining 29 manufacturer have 51% market share.




There are a few points to pay attention to. Some manufacturer focus a lot on preset output voltage options. Usually they have a given set of boost converter with adjustable output voltage and offer them also in factory preset options. For a typical preset output voltage like 1.8V, 3.3V or 5.0V usually every manufacturer has products available. Preset output voltages in the range from 1.5V to 6.5V in 0.1V step size are less common. For applications which require minimal external component count and focus on minimum circuit size those are ideal options.

Manufacturer which offer 0.1V output voltage stepping are:

Almost all manufacturer offer preset output voltage options upon request. Though it requires usually a certain minimum project size.


2. Switch current limit Boost Converter analysis

Looking over all 1384 converters there is a very wide range of power and switch current limit capabilities available. Switch current limit from the internal switches is ranging from less than 0.05A all the way to 9A. All listed boost converter feature internal switches. Product, power and switch current limit distribution is almost balanced and each power level is represented.



With integrated switches and typical switch current limits going up to 9.0A there is high output current/power possible. For even higher current requirements there are DC/DC Boost Controller with external switches available. Boost Controller to drive external MOSFET for several tens amper output current are not that widely used and there are only a little over 100 catalog IC available.


3. Input voltage for startup Boost Converter analysis

Input voltage range can be discussed a lot. There is usually a typical input voltage specified for startup, often also a maximum there the boost converter definitely starts operating. Sometimes a product needs a little higher input voltage for startup but after this the voltage can drop below this initial threshold and the boost converter keeps operating. So it is more a fair guess which is furthermore influence by test- and specification methods, temperature ranges and much more.

In our data we usually use the maximum value which is given in a datasheet for startup (if available, otherwise the typical value). So often a product may startup already at a lower voltage - but not always and under all conditions.

What can be seen is that there is a wide distribution of input voltage ranges for startup. Few converters start already at 0.6V guaranteed, more at 0.9V and so on. All those converters support low battery voltages like 0.8V, 0.9V or 1.2V Also above 2.5V there is still a wide variation as for example many high power or high voltage boost converter IC for industrial applications start above 4.0V or 4.5V.



4. Output voltage Boost Converter analysis

Interesting chart on output voltage. About 60% of all catalog boost converters are targeted towards the low voltage segment of 5.5-6.0V maximum.



The second chart shows the same numbers, only with a hidden 5.5V column so the distribution across the remaining segments is better visible. There are 2 popular segments, the 15-20V and the 30-40V output voltage segment. Higher output voltage products are available going up to 90V, but product options get down to a handful.



5. Switching frequency, efficiency and inductor size Boost Converter analysis

The vast majority of products (92%) feature a fixed switching frequency. Converters with fixed switching frequency can be as low as 20kHz or as high as 4MHz. There is one product from AMS which switches with 4MHz, AS1330.

  • from those 92% products which are fixed frequency, only 60 can be synchronized to an external clock.
  • 114 boost converter feature adjustable switching frequency.

In relation to the switching frequency is the oppositional inductor size. Regulators with switching frequencies of 1MHz and more feature small inductor sizes from 1.0uH to 10.0uH. For lower frequency and higher efficiency solutions common inductor sizes are 22uH, 47uH or 100uH.

Efficiency is highly dependent on switching frequency, voltage levels and duty cycle. Efficiency can be easily below 50% or as high as 96% if working at the perfect operating point. Light load efficiency for PFM/PWM or PFM only regulators is available but not too many products feature it.


6. Special Feature Boost Converter analysis - Automotive AEC-Q100

Currently there are 4 manufacturer which qualify boost converters for Automotive and AEC-Q100.

There is a total of 21 products AEC-Q100 qualified and available in the boost converter parametric search.

A complete list of all Boost Converter IC with AEC-Q100 qualification can be found under the AEC-Q100 menu point.


7. Summary Boost Converter analysis

The boost converter IC segment is a relative big with over 1300 products. 3 major manufacturer dominate this market segment but there is a huge diversity of products available and also a great choice among over 30 manufacturer. We released this summary in summer 2014 and plan to updates it once every year.

A few words before finish. Statistics are only as good as data quality, plus there is a lot of room for interpretation. Please take the numbers and charts as general guideline and rough overview. If there are mistakes please send a short email so we can look into it and update if needed. Same applies if we missed any products or manufacturer. Please send us a short email

On manufacturers webpages new products get released, older ones removed or made obsolete. We try to catch all updates but your help and hints are always appreciated.





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