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Do these words mean very specific things? Are they all the same? What are the defining factors?

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closed as off-topic by Elliot Alderson, MCG, Leon Heller, RoyC, Huisman Jun 21 at 21:42

  • This question does not appear to be about electronics design within the scope defined in the help center.
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    \$\begingroup\$ What has your research told you so far? Have you tried to learn about these terms through the usual internet resources? \$\endgroup\$ – Elliot Alderson Jun 21 at 14:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this is a question that has shown zero research effort as a quick Google search of each component will easily answer the question \$\endgroup\$ – MCG Jun 21 at 15:19
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A buck converter is a circuit that reduces an input voltage to a lower voltage with a higher current capacity.

A boost converter or step-up booster increases an input voltage to a higher voltage with a lower current capacity.

Those two terms are circuit descriptions and may be parts of more complex equipment including power supplies. However they be applied as a shorter version of something like "boost converter power supply"

A power supply is a product or circuit that receives input power at a voltage that may not be well regulated and delivers power at a voltage or current that is usually well regulated. If the output is not regulated the term unregulated power supply is usually applied. A power supply may be adjustable and often has protective features such as current limit for a voltage supply and voltage limit for a current supply. It may have fuses, a circuit breaker, over-temperature protection. Power supply products may have connectors of a type that would not be used if they were built into a product. A power supply in its own inclosure would usually be called a workbench power supply, but that is usually shortened to bench supply or just power supply.

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A buck converter takes a voltage and outputs a lower voltage. A step-up booster takes a voltage and outputs a higher voltage. A power supply is a more generic term for either of these.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ So buck converter == step-down converter? \$\endgroup\$ – user1282931 Jun 21 at 15:16
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    \$\begingroup\$ @user1282931 a buck converter is one kind of step-down converter. \$\endgroup\$ – The Photon Jun 21 at 16:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ All squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares. Or in this case, all buck converters are step-down converters, but not all step-down converters are buck converters. :-) \$\endgroup\$ – evildemonic Jun 21 at 16:33

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