Every electronic circuit is designed to operate off of some supply voltage, which is usually assumed to be constant. A voltage regulator provides this constant DC output voltage and contains circuitry that continuously holds the output voltage at the design value regardless of changes in load current or input voltage (this assumes that the load current and input voltage are within the specified operating range for the part).
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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