Have you ever wondered what’s inside your C programming software for macbook pro’s charger? There’s a lot more circuitry crammed into the compact power adapter than you’d expect, including a microprocessor.
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Most consumer electronics, from your cell phone to your television, use a switching power supply to convert AC power from the wall to the low-voltage DC used by electronic circuits. The switching power supply gets its name because it switches power on and off thousands of times a second, which turns out to be a very efficient way to do this conversion. Switching power supplies are now very cheap, but this wasn’t always the case. Strange as it seems, the best technique I’ve found for opening a charger is to pound on a wood chisel all around the seam to crack it open.
With the case opened, the metal heat sinks of the charger are visible. The heat sinks help cool the high-power semiconductors inside the charger. The other side of the charger shows the circuit board, with the power output at the bottom. Some of the tiny components are visible, but most of the circuitry is covered by the metal heat sink, held in place by yellow insulating tape. The circuit board inside the Apple 85W Macbook charger. After removing the metal heat sinks, the components of the charger are visible. These metal pieces give the charger a substantial heft, more than you’d expect from a small unit.
The diagram below labels the main components of the charger. AC power enters the charger and is converted to DC. The primary chops up the high-voltage DC from the PFC circuit and feeds it into the transformer. Finally, the secondary receives low-voltage power from the transformer and outputs smooth DC to the laptop. AC enters the charger AC power enters the charger through a removable AC plug.