Recommended Alternative for 12V Step-Up Voltage Regulator U3V12F12

Hi folks,

I am looking for a 5V(USB) → 12V step-up regulator for an Assistive Technology project. Your 12V Step-Up Voltage Regulator U3V12F12 seems to be perfect, and I have one on order to try it out.

However, it’s status is “not recommended for new designs” and I’ve read what that means, and I don’t see a good alternative on your site that is recommended. Can you point me in the right direction?

My current needs are low (appx 50mA @ 12V) and I have very little room, so this tiny converter is kind of perfect. I realize I might need a 33uF cap but even with that this will fit on the board I’m making.

The only alternative I’ve found on your site is the much larger U3V70F12 (which is also 4x the price).

I am OK with an answer of “we will be coming out with a replacement before we kill that product” (I trust you), but would hate to design a product and then find I have to redesign it in a year…

Bill Binko

Hi, Bill.

Sorry for my delayed reply. Unfortunately, the main chip on that regulator got discontinued, which is the reason for the NRND status. We should still be able to make tens of thousands of units with the last of the components we ordered, which I expect to last us around a year. It’s difficult to forecast since we are trying to move people away from this product, though as you’ve noticed, we do not have a good direct replacement. We will be working on that over the coming months, and small and low cost is definitely on our requirements list. What kind of input voltage range do you need?

- Jan

I’m actually developing an adapter that allows a (very expensive, for no good reason) power chair joystick to be used as general input into a microcontroller. That allows for using it as a mouse, gaming controller, drone controller, etc. My charity (ATMakers) is working with another (AbleGamers) and supporting a third (WarFightersEngaged) to make this happen

You can follow along here:

As for our requirements, we need very little for this project. The joysticks require 12V and only draw about 15mA(!). So, this little chip is perfect.

Our straight-up requirements for a replacement would be mainly the footprint - it needs to fit on an Adafruit Feather easily - and easy of installation (the three pin header is great).

As for cost, I think staying under $5 at qty 10 would be fine for our use.


I didn’t answer your question! We mainly expect USB input, but would love to be able to source from the LiPoly battery. So, I suppose 3.5-6V as input?

Hey Jan,

I thought I’d share the progress on the “Freedom Wing” that lets power chair joysticks connect to gaming and other devices. Adafruit’s doing a good job of keeping track of all the references:

As I look at what we can and can’t do with this board, I think there are a few things that would be hugely helpful in a replacement for this board (although we LOVE this board).

#1 The biggest is that we would like it to work with LiPo batteries (i.e. 3.7V or so)
#2 Adding an enable pin would let us reset the joystick or delay powering the joystick until after the main board has initialized which would solve a problem with the initial draw of starting both at once
#3 Having the pins on one side kind of makes it hard to solder… so either splitting the pins to two sides or adding castellations to the pins so that it can flush mount to the parent board would be great.

Hope this helps - and take advantage of the good press, right?


Hey Pololu, did you ever come out with a similar product to the U3V12F12? Please point me in the right direction. Thanks!


We do not have a direct drop-in replacement for the U3V12F12, but depending on which particular features you interested in our 12V Step-Up Voltage Regulator U3V40F12 or Adjustable Boost Regulator 4-25V might be an option for you.


Considering the input and output voltage range, I think XL6009 DC-DC Power module
can be an alternative too.XL6009 DC-DC Buck Boost Converter Module Pinout, Datasheet, Features & Specifications