power supply

(redirected from AC adaptor)

power supply

[′pau̇·ər sə‚plī]
(electronics)
A source of electrical energy, such as a battery or power line, employed to furnish the tubes and semiconductor devices of an electronic circuit with the proper electric voltages and currents for their operation. Also known as electronic power supply.

power supply

power supply

A system that converts AC current from the wall outlet into the DC currents required by electronic circuits. A computer power supply converts AC into multiple DC voltages. For example, 12 volts is commonly used for drives, while 3.3v and 5v are used by the chips and other motherboard components.

Switching Power Supplies
Power supplies known as "switching" power supplies are commonly used. Their name is derived from the type of circuit used to change the voltage. For more details, see transformer. See power adapter.


Typical Voltages
This monitor displays the typical three voltages generated by a PC power supply.







One Size Does Not Fit All
Like everything else in our high-tech world, power supplies come in myriad sizes and shapes; witness this table full of different units from Sparkle Power Inc. (www.sparklepower.com).







External "Bricks"
Laptops use an external power supply, called a "power adapter" or "power brick." It converts AC to a single DC voltage that goes to the laptop's internal power supply, which generates all other required voltages. External adapters are used to reduce the size and weight of the laptop, yet they typically ride along in the laptop case, adding back the weight after all.
References in periodicals archive ?
The kid-friendly MIT laptop is constructed of weatherproof rubber and can be powered either by an AC adaptor or wind-up crank.
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Chief among the TransPort GX's array of benefits is backwards compatibility with TransPort ZX peripheral devices, including the port replicator, batteries, and AC adaptor.
The phone is sold with standard life battery, AC adaptor and one-year limited warranty.