Linear Regulators in Portable Applications

Abstract: Linear regulators provide significant advantages over switching regulators in simplicity, cost, and output noise, but not efficiency. When applied to battery-operated portable equipment, battery life is more important than individual circuit efficiency, therefore, the choice between a low dropout (LDO) and a switching regulator is not so obvious. In addition, the particular battery characteristics, whether alkaline, NiCd, NiMH, or lithium (Li+), must be considered.