Classic voltage regulators like the 78xx series can be integrated into a circuit easily, however, their energy efficiency is terrible. Getting out higher currents at a high voltage drop makes these IC’s behave like mini stoves; and getting them to increase output voltage is impossible – not the kind of behavior needed when creating a circuit for a battery-powered device like our ever-famous Meazura(even though it can source an insane amount of current).

Switching converters address both of the problems outlined above, offering extremely high efficiency and being able to amplify voltages – however, these features come at the cost of increased complexity.

Dallas Maxim has an excellent application note covering the theory behind SMPS’s – enjoy:
http://www.maxim-ic.com/appnotes.cfm/appnote_number/4087

Related posts:

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  4. Smart Card Interface Fundamentals
  5. Boosting linear regulator output current

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