Switching regulator

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A "voltage regulator" is designed to hold a constant output voltage.

A "switching voltage regulator", usually called a switching regulator, also called a DC to DC converter, accomplishes this goal by rapidly switching a transistor from full on and full off.

A "linear voltage regulator", usually called a "linear regulator", accomplishes the same goal by holding a transistor in its active region, somewhere between full on or full off.

The 723 Voltage Regulator can be used as either a linear or a switching regulator.

The Linuxstamp uses a the LTC3407-3 switching regulator.

The ARMUS Embedded Linux Board uses ...

The MCP1252/3 Flyback Switching Regulators can generate an output voltage greater than the input voltage -- something impossible with linear voltage regulators.

further reading