In series regulation the control element is placed between the unregulated voltage source and the load and the current through the element is controlled so that the voltage across the load is held constant. A feedback control system is used where the difference between the output voltage and a reference voltage is applied to a high gain amplifier that drives the current control element such as to maintain the setpoint output voltage. The majority of voltage regulators are of the series type.
The LDO regulator is best suited for battery-powered applications, because the lower dropout voltage translates directly into cost savings by reducing the number of battery cells required to provide a regulated output voltage. If the input-output voltage differential is low (like 1V to 2V) the LDO is more efficient than a Standard regulator because of reduced power dissipation resulting from the load current multiplied times the input-output voltage differential.
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