Inductors and Electronic Product Design: Secrets to Improving Performance and Reliability - zxcompo (2023)

1. The Importance and role of Inductors in electronic product design

Inductors play a crucial role in electronic product design, as they are essential components for achieving performance optimization and circuit stability. Here, we will introduce the importance and role of inductors in electronic product design.

Inductors are passive components that store energy by inducing a magnetic field. They are primarily composed of coils, typically formed by winding conductive wires into a spiral shape, which generates a magnetic field. In electronic product design, inductors serve the following important functions:

Filtering and noise suppression: Inductors can be used as key components in filters to remove unwanted noise and interference from signals. By selecting appropriate inductance values and frequency responses, inductors can block specific frequencies, thereby improving signal purity and accuracy.

Voltage regulation and current stabilization: Inductors play a vital role in voltage regulation and current stabilization. In DC-DC converters, for instance, inductors are used to store and smooth out currents, ensuring a stable output voltage. They can also suppress current surges and ripples, providing a stable power supply to other circuit modules.

Energy transfer and transmission: Inductors are crucial for wireless charging and energy transfer applications. By directing current into the coil, inductors generate a magnetic field that couples with other coils, enabling energy transfer and transmission. This wireless energy transfer technology finds wide application in wireless charging, inductive communication, and electric vehicle charging.

Circuit and component protection: Inductors can be employed to protect circuits and components from current surges and overvoltages. They play a vital role in suppressing overcurrent and limiting voltage peaks, ensuring the safe operation of other electronic elements.

Frequency selection and tuning: Inductors are utilized for selecting specific frequencies and tuning signals. In communication systems, inductors are used to choose particular frequency bands, achieving frequency selection and filtering to enhance signal quality and reliability.

In conclusion, the importance of inductors in electronic product design cannot be overstated. They play critical roles in filtering, voltage regulation, energy transfer, circuit protection, and frequency tuning, contributing to enhanced performance and reliability. Correct selection and application of inductors are crucial for engineers and designers to achieve optimized electronic product designs.

2. The basic principle and working mechanism of the inductor

Inductors are fundamental electronic components that operate based on the principle of generating a magnetic field through the flow of current in a coil and inducing an electromotive force (EMF) when the magnetic field changes. The basic structure of an inductor typically consists of a coil made of wound conductive wire.

The working principle of an inductor is based on Faraday’s law of electromagnetic induction. When current flows through the coil of an inductor, a magnetic field is generated, with the strength of the magnetic field proportional to the current. Additionally, when the current changes, the magnetic field also changes, resulting in the induction of an electromotive force (EMF) in the inductor. This induced EMF opposes the change in current, demonstrating the inductive nature of the inductor.

Inductors have the ability to store energy. As current flows through the coil, the inductor converts a portion of the current’s energy into magnetic field energy, storing it in the magnetic field. When the current is interrupted or changes, the energy stored in the magnetic field is released back into the coil, converting it into electrical energy, thereby maintaining the continuity and stability of the current.

Furthermore, inductors can generate a magnetic field. The magnetic field produced by the current flowing through the coil can be utilized in various applications, such as wireless power transfer, motor drive systems, and electromagnetic induction.

Inductors also respond to changes in current. When there is a variation in current in the circuit connected to the inductor, the inductor generates an induced EMF based on Faraday’s law of electromagnetic induction, resulting in self-induced voltage. This self-induced voltage affects the voltage and current distribution within the circuit, influencing the performance and behavior of the circuit.

3. The impact of correct selection on performance and reliability

The correct selection of inductors has a significant impact on their performance and reliability. Here are some key parameters and indicators, along with their importance, as well as how to choose the appropriate type and specifications of inductors based on application requirements:

Inductance: Inductance is an important parameter that measures the size of an inductor. It determines the inductor’s ability to store energy. A larger inductance value can store more energy but may result in a larger size and cost. Therefore, a trade-off between inductance value and size needs to be considered based on application requirements.

Saturation Current: Saturation current is the maximum current that an inductor can withstand. Exceeding the saturation current may result in a weakened magnetic field, affecting the performance of the inductor. It is crucial to choose an inductor with a saturation current sufficient for the maximum current demand of the application.

Frequency Response: Frequency response indicates the performance of an inductor at different frequencies. For a specific application, the frequency response range and attenuation characteristics of the inductor need to be considered. Ensuring that the inductor meets the performance requirements within the desired frequency range is important.

Inductor Type: Selecting the appropriate type of inductor based on application requirements is essential, such as ferrite inductors, air core inductors, chip inductors, etc. Each type has different characteristics, such as inductance range, current handling capability, and size.

Special Requirements: Some applications may have specific requirements for inductors, such as temperature stability, moisture resistance, vibration resistance, etc. These special requirements need to be considered when selecting an inductor to ensure its performance and reliability in specific environments.

By carefully evaluating application requirements and understanding the importance of key parameters, it is possible to choose the appropriate type and specifications of inductors to achieve optimized performance and reliability.

4. Considerations and best practice recommendations when Designing inductor applications

When designing applications involving inductors, here are some considerations and best practices to emphasize the importance of good layout, proper heat dissipation, and protective measures, as well as how to conduct testing and verification to ensure the performance and reliability of the inductors meet expectations.

Good layout and coil design: Place the inductors as far as possible from other sources of high-frequency interference to reduce electromagnetic interference. Also, layout the coils appropriately, avoiding cross-interference between coils and between coils and other components.

Heat dissipation design: Inductors generate heat during operation, so proper heat dissipation measures such as heat sinks, heat plates, or fans should be provided. Maintaining the inductors within a safe temperature range improves their reliability and lifespan.

Protective measures: Consider implementing appropriate protection measures based on application requirements, such as overcurrent protection, over-temperature protection, and overvoltage protection. These measures help prevent damage to the inductors under abnormal conditions.

Perform reliability testing: Rigorous reliability testing is crucial once the design is completed. The testing process can include temperature testing, vibration testing, voltage stress testing, etc., to validate the performance and reliability of the inductors under different environments and operating conditions.

Verify inductor parameters: Validate key parameters of the inductors such as inductance, saturation current, frequency response, etc. Use suitable measurement equipment and methods to ensure that the inductor parameters align with expectations.

Consider environmental factors: Understand the environmental conditions in which the inductors will be operating and select appropriate materials and coatings. This provides additional protection and enhances the reliability of the inductors.

Document records: Maintain detailed documentation of the inductor design and testing processes, including parameters, layout, heat dissipation design, protective measures, etc. This facilitates traceability, troubleshooting, and serves as a reference for future designs.

By following these considerations and best practices, the performance and reliability of inductor applications can be improved, ensuring they meet the desired design requirements.


The key takeaway of this article is the emphasis on the importance of inductors in improving the performance and reliability of electronic product design. As essential components, inductors serve various functions and roles. Proper selection of inductors, optimization of layout, adequate heat dissipation, protective measures, as well as reliability testing and verification, are critical steps to ensure the expected performance and reliability of inductors. By effectively applying inductors, electronic products can benefit from improved filtering, voltage regulation, energy transfer, and protection capabilities, enhancing system efficiency, stability, and overall lifespan.


What are inductors used for? ›

Inductors are primarily used in electrical power and electronic devices for these major purposes: Choking, blocking, attenuating, or filtering/smoothing high frequency noise in electrical circuits. Storing and transferring energy in power converters (dc-dc or ac-dc)

Why are inductors costly? ›

The cost of an inductor is affected by several factors, including its core material, winding material, and manufacturing process. Inductors made from high-permeability materials, such as powder cores or ferrite, tend to be more expensive than those made from lower-permeability materials, such as iron cores.

What does an inductor do in electronics? ›

An inductor is a passive electronic component which is capable of storing electrical energy in the form of magnetic energy. Basically, it uses a conductor that is wound into a coil, and when electricity flows into the coil from the left to the right, this will generate a magnetic field in the clockwise direction.

What is an inductor advantages and disadvantages? ›

Because of these characteristics, ferrite core inductors are suitable for high frequency applications. They also offer an advantage at low cost. However, they have several disadvantages, including the problem of core saturation. Saturation losses can occur when there is a magnetic flux density of 400mT.

What are the common failures of inductor? ›

Inductors often fail open due to corrosion or bad internal solder joints or the inductors fail shorted due to electrical overstress, bad magnet wire insulation, or potting issues.

What is the most common failure in an inductor? ›

The only common failure mode of an inductor is overheating, which can be from too much current (saturation) or too wide of a pulse width. The insulation burns at the core and shorts out the magnetic field.

What are the disadvantages of inductor? ›

It has poor voltage regulation. It has high ripple factor for light loads i.e. small load currents. It is not suitable for light loads as ripple factor is directly proportional to the load resistance RL. It produces audible noise.

Do inductors block AC or DC? ›

Resistors can be used in both AC and DC circuits whereas inductors can only be used in DC circuit.

Do inductors store current or voltage? ›

Inductors Store Energy. The magnetic field that surrounds an inductor stores energy as current flows through the field. If we slowly decrease the amount of current, the magnetic field begins to collapse and releases the energy and the inductor becomes a current source.

What are the two main functions of inductor? ›

A. An inductor has the functions of developing electromotive force in the direction that reduces fluctuation when a fluctuating current flows and storing electric energy as magnetic energy.

Why inductors are not preferred? ›

3. Why inductors are not preferred for audio frequency? Explanation: At audio frequencies, inductor becomes problematic, as the inductors become large, heavy and expensive.

What makes a good inductor? ›

An inductor should have a high value of rated current so that it can operate in linear range over the entire load. Also, it should have low DC resistance to minimize losses and increase the efficiency of the regulator. It should also have a small size which is important for printed circuit boards (PCBs).

What is one danger to a circuit with an inductor? ›

The following are some hazards peculiar to inductors and magnets: The ability of an inductor to release stored energy at a much higher voltage than that used to charge it. Stray magnetic fields that attract magnetic materials.

What happens to an inductor over time? ›

The voltage across the inductor decreases with time.

What is the best inductor material? ›

Iron powder is often the best choice for a power inductor when the highest efficiency and smallest size are not required, but cost is critical; or when the frequency is quite low; or when the amplitude of the AC ripple current is very low (resulting in very low AC flux, and thus reasonably low AC losses.)

Which inductor is most efficient? ›

The most efficient multilayer selonoidal inductor design (using a constant length of wire) is Brooks coil.

What are the five factors affecting the inductance of an inductor? ›

—Inductor types and schematic symbols. There are several physical factors which affect the inductance of a coil. They include the number of turns in the coil, the diameter of the coil, the coil length, the type of material used in the core, and the number of layers of winding in the coils.

Do inductors reduce voltage? ›

The inductor, always opposing any change in current, will produce a voltage drop opposite to the change's direction. With that in mind, how much voltage the inductor will produce depends on how rapidly the current through it is decreased.

Do magnets affect inductors? ›

External magnet close to the inductor will only have effect when it is moving OR inductor core is close to saturation. With the presence of external magnetic field inductor core could saturate sooner (or later - depending on polarity and strength).

Which is better capacitor or inductor? ›

Capacitors resist changes in voltage and current does not pass through them; inductors resist changes in current and conduct. Capacitors work best at high frequencies and inductors work best at low frequencies; they can be combined to filter out unwanted signals or frequencies.

Why do we use inductors instead of capacitors? ›

One of the main differences between a capacitor and an inductor is that a capacitor opposes a change in voltage while an inductor opposes a change in the current. Furthermore, the inductor stores energy in the form of a magnetic field, and the capacitor stores energy in the form of an electric field.

Are inductors used in AC? ›

Inductors are widely used in AC circuits.

Are inductors only used in AC circuits? ›

Resistors can be used in both AC and DC circuits whereas inductors can only be used in DC circuit. No worries!

What is the benefit of inductor? ›

Inductors can store energy for a small period of time because the energy which is being stored as a magnetic field will be gone when the power supply is removed. Uses of inductors can be seen in computer circuits where power supplies can be switched.

What are the disadvantages of using inductors in circuits? ›

  • The series inductor (L) filter is bulky and more costly.
  • It cannot be used with half wave rectifier, but it is to be always used with full wave rectifier.
  • It gives low output DC voltage for larger value of inductance.
  • It has poor voltage regulation.
May 28, 2021

What happens when a capacitor is connected to an inductor? ›

If an inductor is connected across a charged capacitor, the voltage across the capacitor will drive a current through the inductor, building up a magnetic field around it. The voltage across the capacitor falls to zero as the charge is used up by the current flow.

What is the basic working principle of inductor? ›

An electronic component known as an inductor has the ability to store electric energy in the form of magnetic energy. An inductor's current flows through its terminals when a voltage is applied across them, producing a magnetic field. In turn, this magnetic field induces a current to flow in the opposite direction.

Is inductor AC or DC? ›

Resistors can be used in both AC and DC circuits whereas inductors can only be used in DC circuit.

What is the principle of an inductor? ›

Basic principles of inductors

When current flows through an inductor with conductors wrapped around it in the same direction, the magnetic field generated around the wire is bound together and becomes an electromagnet (Figure 1). Conversely, it is also possible to generate an electric current from magnetic force.

How long can an inductor store energy? ›

An alternating current (AC) flowing through the inductor results in the constant storing and delivering of energy. If we have an ideal inductor that has no resistance or capacitance, the energy stores forever without any loss.

What devices use inductors? ›

Based on the requirement, inductors have many applications in electrical transmission.
  • Inductors in Tuned Circuits.
  • Inductive sensors. Energy Storage Devices.
  • Induction Motors.
  • Transformers.
  • Inductive Filters.
  • Chokes.
  • Ferrite beds.
  • Relays.
Sep 5, 2015

Does TV have inductors? ›

Inductors are extensively used in alternating current (AC) applications such as radio, TV and communications equipment, and in these systems, how inductors react to AC signals of different frequencies is very useful.

Why are inductors rarely used? ›

Inductors are used to be big. Compared to the sizes of all other devices in ICs (e.g. transistors) it is really HUGE. Making small inductor with desired characteristics is very expensive, so designers try to avoid using them.

Are inductors used in computers? ›

Large inductors are used in the power supplies of electronic equipment of all types, including computers and their peripherals. In these systems, inductors help to smooth out the rectified utility alternating current (AC) power, providing pure, battery-like direct current (DC) power.

Why is copper used in inductors? ›

The inductance coils made of copper will have very small ohmic resistance. Due to change in magnetic flux a large induced current will be produced in such an Inductance, which will offer appreciable opposition to the flow of current.


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Fredrick Kertzmann

Last Updated: 06/11/2023

Views: 5462

Rating: 4.6 / 5 (46 voted)

Reviews: 93% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Fredrick Kertzmann

Birthday: 2000-04-29

Address: Apt. 203 613 Huels Gateway, Ralphtown, LA 40204

Phone: +2135150832870

Job: Regional Design Producer

Hobby: Nordic skating, Lacemaking, Mountain biking, Rowing, Gardening, Water sports, role-playing games

Introduction: My name is Fredrick Kertzmann, I am a gleaming, encouraging, inexpensive, thankful, tender, quaint, precious person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.