In different power supply topologies synchronous rectification is used to improve efficiency. The diode is then replaced with a MOSFET, which emulates the behaviour of the diode .

My question might be straightforward but has been bugging me for quite some time. Here it comes:

Question: Why is it called synchronous rectification? what is synchronous?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, not the most descriptively straightforward name. I would prefer the term active or controlled rectification, personally. But no one uses it. \$\endgroup\$ – DKNguyen Apr 4 at 22:44

"Synchronous" is being used here in the same way it's used when talking about a synchronous AC machine; the switch signal's phase is synchronous with the input waveform's phase.

Synchronous as a word just means "at the same time". You might be more familiar with the phrase "in sync", meaning two things moving together in the same way at the same time.


The switching of the active MOSFET(s) is synchronous with the waveform being rectified. That's all.


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