Chargers, switching power supply and power adapter ,Same?

January 23, 2024


1. The differences between chargers, switching power supply and power adapters:

A charger specifically refers to a device that only charges the battery, usually with a charging indicator light, such as a battery car charger. For example, the charger refers to charging the battery, such as lithium batteries, lead-acid batteries or nickel batteries and so on.it can’t call the adapter. 

2. What are switching power supply and power adapters?

  • Switching power supply
    Switching power supply is a method of converting 220V voltage into low-voltage DC. It is different from traditional power frequency transformers. Power supplies that use this switching conversion voltage technology are called switching power supplies. Chargers and power adapters currently use switching power supply technology. At present, switching power supply is widely used in almost all electronic equipment due to its small size, light weight and high efficiency. It is an indispensable power supply method for the rapid development of today’s electronic information industry.
    In addition, the development and application of switching power supplies are of great significance in saving energy, saving resources and protecting the environment. The power electronic devices used in switching power supplies are mainly diodes and IGBTs (insulated gate bipolar transistors). It has a small number of applications in switching power supply input rectification circuits and soft-start circuits. GTR is difficult to drive and has low switching frequency, so it is gradually replaced by IGBT and MOSFET.


  • Power adapter
     Power adapter is a power supply conversion device for small portable electronic equipment and electronic appliances. It generally consists of a casing, a power transformer and a rectifier circuit. According to its output type, it can be divided into AC output type and DC output type; according to the connection method, it can be divided into Wall-mounted and tabletop. It is widely used in language repeaters, walkmans, notebook computers and other equipment. The power adapter can generally not only be used as a power source, but can also be used to charge an electrical appliance. Just like a laptop power adapter, it can charge and power a computer. For example, the power adapter of the LCD monitor and the power adapter of the printer.
      Most laptop power adapters can automatically detect 100~240V AC (50/60Hz). Basically all laptops have an external power supply and are connected to the host with a line. This can reduce the size and weight of the host. Only a few models have the power supply built into the host. There is a nameplate on the power adapter, which indicates the power, input and output voltage, and current.

3. Summary

  • Chargers, switching power supplies, and power adapters can (but are not necessarily) the same thing.
  • The term switching power supply focuses on the internal characteristics of the item, the term charger focuses on its use, and the power adapter highlights the auxiliary nature of the main device.


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