The linear regulator is the basic building block of nearly every power supply used in electronics. The IC linear regulator is so easy to use that it is virtually foolproof, and so inexpensive that it is usually one of the cheapest components in an electronic assembly.
The output resistance (also known as source resistance) of a voltage regulator is a close cousin of its load regulation. Figure 1 illustrates how the output voltage of a regulator typically changes as a function of load current. Initially, the slope is quite linear but once the load current becomes higher than the design then the voltage will often drop rapidly with an increase in current. We measure the output resistance only on the linear portion of the plot in the normal operating region. It is meaningless to use a point in the overload area as that will result in an artificially high output resistance.
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