There are two types of voltage regulators, shunt and series. The name comes from where the control element (typically a transistor) is placed. Except for the special case of a Zener diode shunt regulator which is open-loop, virtually all voltage regulators are closed-loop high-gain proportional control systems.
The maximum current required in an application should be carefully considered when selecting an IC regulator. The load current specification for an IC regulator will be defined as either a single value or a value that is dependent on input-output voltage differential (this is detailed in the following section on protection circuits).
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