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Old 23rd May, 2002, 10:28 AM
Aedan Aedan is offline
Chief Systems Administrator
Join Date: September 2001
Location: Europe
Posts: 13,075

Originally posted by Claudius
I am unfamiliar with what a switching regulator is.
There's two basic kinds of voltage regulators.
The linear regulator, which basically acts like a resistance to ensure that the voltage output is kept the same. Linear regulators tend to get hot, as they're effectively burning off the excess power. They're also not very efficent. They need a higher voltage input than the voltage output.

The switching regulator, which switches the input voltage on and off rapidly to keep the voltage output the same. Typically the input voltage goes through an inductor of some kind. They're vastly more efficent, they stay cooler, and they can operate with a lower voltage input than the voltage output. As they're so much more efficent, they can deliver far higher levels of power. They're also known as Switch Mode.

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