Linear Voltage Regulator vs. Switching Regulator


#1

When designing a powered device, the question sometimes arises of whether a Linear Voltage Regulator or a Switching Regulator is more suitable for the design. Understanding the differences between the two can help you make the right choice for your application.

Linear Voltage Regulator Switching Regulator
Design Flexibility Buck Buck(shown),Boost, Buck-Boost
Efficiency Low to Medium (when small difference between Vin and Vout) High
Complexibility Easy to design Complex in design
Ripple & Noise No ripple, low noise, better noise rejection Medium to high, depends on switching frequency

As you can see, the primary advantage of switching regulators is their energy efficiency, while the primary advantage of linear regulators is their simple, low-noise operation.

For more details, please refer to our TechZone article, Understanding the Advantages and Disadvantages of Linear Regulators.


#2

hi what is that symbol Z1?


#3

The symbol itself is a symbol for a Varistor in Scheme-it

image

Basically in the diagram he is showing a variable impedance. This could also be shown with a potentiometer or variable resistor.


#4

yeah that’s what i thought, but the diagram looks more like a divider than a regulator.