The following operating description of the LM6x4xx-Q1 refers to Section 8.2 and the waveforms in Figure 8-20. Both supply a regulated output voltage by turning on the internal high-side (HS) and low-side (LS) NMOS switches with varying duty cycle (D). During the HS switch on-time, the SW terminal voltage, VSW, swings up to approximately VIN, and the inductor current, iL, increases with a linear slope. The HS switch is turned off by the control logic. During the HS switch off-time, tOFF, the LS switch is turned on. Inductor current discharges through the LS switch, forcing VSW to swing below ground by the voltage drop across the LS switch. The regulator loop adjusts the duty cycle to maintain a constant output voltage. D is defined by the on-time of the HS switch over the switching period: D = TON / (TON + TOFF).
In an ideal buck converter where losses are ignored, D is proportional to the output voltage and inversely proportional to the input voltage: D = VOUT / VIN.
To get accurate DC load regulation, a voltage feedback loop is used. Peak and valley inductor currents are sensed for peak current mode control and current protection. The regulator operates with continuous conduction mode with constant switching frequency when load level is above one half of the minimum peak inductor current. The internally-compensated regulation network achieves fast and stable operation with small external components and low-ESR capacitors.