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.