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This paper proposes a small-signal model for average current mode control based on an equivalent circuit. The model uses a three-terminal equivalent circuit model based on a linearized describing function method to include the feedback effect of the sideband frequency components of the inductor current. The model extends the results obtained in peak current mode control to average current mode control. The proposed small-signal model is accurate up to half switching frequency, predicting the subharmonic instability. The proposed model is verified using SIMPLIS simulation and hardware experiments, which show good agreement with the measurement results. Based on the proposed model, new feedback design guidelines are presented. The proposed design guidelines are compared with several conventional, widely used design criteria. By designing the external ramp following the proposed design guidelines, the quality factor of the double poles at half of the switching frequency in the control-to-output transfer function can be precisely controlled. This helps the feedback loop design to achieve wide control bandwidth and proper damping.