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.
In cases where thermal limiting occurs, both the output voltage and current will be reduced. When the output voltage drops below its nominal value, the error signal appearing at the voltage error amplifier will cause it to try and correct the regulator output voltage by driving its output high (and sourcing more current to the pass transistor).
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