An experimental approach for locating the current distribution in multiphase buck converters

Peng Shao, Frank Chang, Chris Reade, Ponniah Ilavarasan, David Pommerenke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The objective of this paper is to present a methodology for identifying the current flow in the capacitors of a multiphase buck converter by synchronously measuring the capacitor currents. A multiphase buck converter uses multiple parallel buck converters with different switching times to source a large amount of current. Currents in the primary capacitors of a multiphase buck converter are drawn by all phases of the converter; however, the phases switch asynchronously. Synchronizing to the switching of a specific phase reveals how the current from that phase is distributed among the capacitors throughout a circuit board. The proposed measurement method is illustrated by comparing an initial printed circuit board design to a new design to show the effect of better capacitor placement and the addition of a ground plane. The new design confines the phase currents to the capacitors close to the field effect transistors of the specific phase.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6880339
Pages (from-to)1344-1351
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Electromagnetic Compatibility
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Converter
  • dc-dc power converters
  • electromagnetic compatibility (EMC)
  • electromagnetic interference (EMI)
  • magnetic field measurement
  • multiphase buck near-field scanning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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