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Some of the recent applications in the field of the power supplies use multiphase converters to achieve fast dynamic response, smaller input/output filters, or better packaging. Typically, these converters have several paralleled power stages, with a current loop in each phase and a single voltage loop. The presence of the current loops avoids current imbalance among phases. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that, in CCM, with a proper design, there is an intrinsic mechanism of self-balance that reduces the current imbalance. Thus, in the buck converter, if natural zero-voltage switching (ZVS) is achieved in both transitions, the instantaneous inductor current compensates partially the different DC currents through the phases. The need for using n current loops will be finally determined by the application but not by the converter itself. Using the buck converter as a base, a multiphase converter has been developed. Several tests have been carried out in the laboratory and the results show clearly that, when the conditions are met, the phase currents are very well balanced even during transient conditions.
Date of Publication: June 2009