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In this paper, a built-in voltage gain extension cell is proposed to give a universal topology derivation on next-generation high step-up converters for large voltage gain conversion systems. Several improved single-switch high step-up converters with built-in transformer voltage multiplier cell are derived with some advantageous performance, which includes extremely large voltage conversion ratio, minimized power device voltage stress, effective diode reverse-recovery alleviation, and soft-switching operation. The turns ratio of the built-in transformer can be employed as another design freedom to extend the voltage gain, which shows great design flexibility. Compared with their active clamp counterpart, only one MOSFET is required to simplify the circuit configuration and improve the system reliability. The over resonance frequency and the below resonance frequency operation modes are studied to explore the circuit performance, and the key parameter design criterion is provided to show a valuable guidance for future industrial applications. Finally, the experimental results from a 500 W 36-380 V prototype are provided to validate the effectiveness of the main contributions in this paper.