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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
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"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.

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

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