SNVS124E November 1999 – February 2020 LM2596
A low ESR aluminum or tantalum bypass capacitor is required between the input pin and ground pin to prevent large voltage transients from appearing at the input. This capacitor must be placed close to the IC using short leads. In addition, the RMS current rating of the input capacitor should be selected to be at least ½ the DC load current. The capacitor manufacturers data sheet must be checked to assure that this current rating is not exceeded. Figure 23 shows typical RMS current ratings for several different aluminum electrolytic capacitor values.
For an aluminum electrolytic, the capacitor voltage rating must be approximately 1.5 times the maximum input voltage. Exercise caution if solid tantalum capacitors are used (see Input Capacitor (CIN)). The tantalum capacitor voltage rating should be 2 times the maximum input voltage and TI recommends that they be surge current tested by the manufacturer.
Use caution when using ceramic capacitors for input bypassing, because it may cause severe ringing at the VIN pin.
The important parameters for the Input capacitor are the input voltage rating and the RMS current rating. With a nominal input voltage of 12 V, an aluminum electrolytic capacitor with a voltage rating greater than 18 V (1.5 × VIN) is necessary. The next higher capacitor voltage rating is 25 V.
The RMS current rating requirement for the input capacitor in a buck regulator is approximately ½ the DC load current. In this example, with a 3-A load, a capacitor with a RMS current rating of at least 1.5 A is required. Figure 23 can be used to select an appropriate input capacitor. From the curves, locate the 35-V line and note which capacitor values have RMS current ratings greater than 1.5 A. A 680-μF, 35-V capacitor could be used.
For a through-hole design, a 680-μF, 35-V electrolytic capacitor (Panasonic HFQ series or Nichicon PL series or equivalent) would be adequate. Other types or other manufacturers' capacitors can be used provided the RMS ripple current ratings are adequate.
For surface-mount designs, solid tantalum capacitors can be used, but exercise caution with regard to the capacitor surge current rating (see Input Capacitor (CIN) in this data sheet). The TPS series available from AVX, and the 593D series from Sprague are both surge current tested.