Deciphering Low-Dropout Regulator Datasheets

All About Circuits have a helpful article on deciphering tables and charts you might find in datasheets for linear voltage regulators aka low-dropouts (LDOs).



The world’s IC manufacturers have produced a rather astonishing super-abundance of linear voltage regulators—a quick Digi-Key search indicates something on the order of ten thousand different parts. This vast array of options could be somewhat problematic for anyone who is subject to bouts of indecision; overall, though, this situation is beneficial because it allows us to find an LDO that is just about perfect for a particular application.

However, you can’t thoroughly fine-tune your regulator circuit without understanding some of the less-prominent details of LDO performance. I readily admit that many designs will be fully functional if you choose a part based merely on input-voltage range, output voltage, and maximum load current. But your selection process needs to be a little more involved if your application requires, for example, low power consumption or high precision.

Read more.

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