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 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.
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