SMPS stands for Switched Mode Power Supply. It uses a switching regulator to convert electric power efficiently. SMPS transfers electric power from a source ( AC mains) to the load by converting the characteristics of current and voltage. SMPS always provide a well regulated power to the load irrespective of the input variations. SMPS incorporates a Pass transistor that switches very fast typically at 50Hz and 1 MHz between the on and off states to minimize the energy waste. SMPS regulates the output power by varying the on to off time using minimum voltage so that efficiency is very high compared to the linear power supply.
It is an electronic power supply that incorporates a switching regulator to convert electrical power efficiently. Like other power supplies, an SMPS transfers power from a source, like mains power, to a load, such as a personal computer, while converting voltage and current characteristics. Unlike a linear power supply, the pass transistor of a switching-mode supply continually switches between low-dissipation, full-on and full-off states, and spends very little time in the high dissipation transitions, which minimizes wasted energy. Ideally, a switched-mode power supply dissipates no power. Voltage regulation is achieved by varying the ratio of on-to-off time. In contrast, a linear power supply regulates the output voltage by continually dissipating power in the pass transistor. This higher power conversion efficiency is an important advantage of a switched-mode power supply. Switched-mode power supplies may also be substantially smaller and lighter than a linear supply due to the smaller transformer size and weight.
Switching regulators are used as replacements for linear regulators when higher efficiency, smaller size or lighter weight is required. They are, however, more complicated; their switching currents can cause electrical noise problems if not carefully suppressed, and simple designs may have a poor power factor.