I am selecting a 3.3V output switching regulator (to power the MCU, LEDs, and some ICs) for a project and I am noticing that even after specifying a specific list of parameters that I am looking for in the component, there is a wide range in cost. I am seeing pricing ranging from as low as $0.30 and up to like $8; and everything in between. I don't want to go with the "cheapest" option since the switching regulator is an important component...but I also don't think I need a $3 regulator.
Some things that I think impact the price are package size and the number of external components required, but even still, from what datasheets I have gone through, I cannot fully confirm my hypothesis as to what impacts price. Obviously big name brand components are not the cheapest. Maybe efficiency and ripple impact the price as well? I don't have time to go through EVERY datasheet though and come up with the answer and unfortunately some of these parameters are not listed when just doing the component searches on digikey or mouser.
If anyone with a lot of experience with different switching regulators could shed some light on this, that would be awesome!
Here are some examples...
On the cheaper side, this Diodes Inc regulator is $0.45 https://www.mouser.com/datasheet/2/115/AP65211A-1143084.pdf
This TI regulator is $1.68 http://www.ti.com/lit/ds/symlink/tps54202h.pdf
The capability of synchronizing seems to play a big factor. Switching frequency and package size seem to be the main other driving factors.