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Switching Regulators - How?

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I'm sure many of you are familiar with the step-up/step-down switching regulators available from a variety of distributors. Many have very high efficiency, going up to the high 90s in percent. They are all inductor based regulators, and I have one simple question:

How do they work? :)

Its clear they don't invert into AC and use some micro transformer to step it up or down, so how do they do it? Any equations behind this? All I know is it involves an inductor in some way, but I see no way to get 5V from 1V using nothing but a transistor and a inductor...
 
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