An Inside Look at the Linear Power Supply

Obviously, we rely on electricity for much of our basic, everyday tasks in life today. While there are still cultures and societies who function without electricity, or at least for the most part, it is still pretty clear that power is something we depend on. With that said, power is a lot more complicated and intricate than a lot of people may think. There are many different types of power sources and power supplies, and each works a different way for different purposes and devices.

What Is a Linear Power Supply?

A linear power supply, also known as a linear regulated power supply, is a power supply that works to regulate the voltage being outputted. It does this by dropping the extra unnecessary voltage in a series dissipative component, otherwise known as a resistor, or a transistor. A linear power supply produces very little noise or ripple. These power supplies are used for many purposes, often including things such as low noise amplifiers, control circuits, sensors, A/D converters, sample and hold circuits, multiplexers, and signal processing. They are also often used in automatic test equipment and lab test equipments.

Advantages of Using Linear Regulated Power Supplies

Generally speaking, a linear power supply may not be as efficient as other types of power supplies, but it will provide the best performance. They are best used in devices where low noise performance is a necessity, like audio amplifiers and other pieces of electronic equipment.

Because linear regulated power supplies have been used for so long, they are understood and have a lot of information available on them, which means they have become easier to use due to our understanding. Overall, there may be some disadvantages to using linear power supplies, but they have their advantages and are perfect for any device that requires low levels of noise and sufficient regulation.

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