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May 23, 2001

Linear versus Switcher

Question: What is the difference between a linear power supply and a switching-mode power supply?

Original Question: Could you explain and steer me to information regarding the difference between a linear power supply vs. switching? S. B. 05/17/2001

Answer: Dissipative regulators achieve regulation by a purposeful conversion of excessive power to heat, unlike switching-mode power supplies which do not rely on a heat conversion for regulation. Switching-mode power supplies would be 100% efficient if components were ideal. Dissipative regulators convert heat with either a series or a shunt element.

The difference is explained in detail in the first three sections of my Switching-Mode Power Supply Design tutorial.

Posted by Jerrold Foutz at May 23, 2001 02:37 PM