Although nowadays there may be less need to weigh between a discrete configuration and the use of a power supply IC, in this section we discuss the topic mainly from the point of view of designing an on-board power supply unit. While some cases may be made for the adoption of a discrete configuration, the advantages of using a power supply IC are as discussed a lot in the preceding sections. In these times we believe that the best approach is to fully utilize the capabilities of a power supply IC. Power supply ICs are provided with most of the circuits and functions required for optimal controls. The designer can achieve a virtually perfect power supply unit by adjusting those functions and optimizing them to suit his/her own design.
In days past, power supply units represented the sum total of the expertise that power supply manufacturers had nurtured, and the discrete configuration held an upper hand in terms of the ease of tuning, functionality, and cost. Now, the power supply IC has evolved to the point where it incorporates features that fulfill many needs so that high-performance power supply units can be built with great ease and in flexibility. The best of all, the number of components required in a power supply unit has been reduced, providing advantages in size and reliability. In device design for which rapid Time-to-Market is a paramount requirement, we believe that it is critical to improve the efficiency of the power supply design process which is prone to delay.
・Absent extensive knowledge of power supply design, a better approach would be the use of a power supply IC.
・In most cases IC manufacturers provide support for the design process.