Linear DC power supplies were the mainstay of power conversion until the late 1970’s. With the advancement of switching power supply technology, linear power supplies are less popular today but still find themselves indispensable in applications that require very low ripple and noise. A linear power supply uses a big transformer to drop voltage from AC line to much lower AC voltage, and then uses a series of rectifier circuitry and filtering process to produce a very clean DC voltage.  That low DC voltage is then regulated into the desired voltage level by a dropping the difference in voltage across transistor or IC (the shunt regulator). Typical applications of linear DC power supplies include but not limited to:

  • studio mixer/audio amplifier
  • low noise amplifiers
  • signal processing
  • data acquisition – including sensors, multiplexers, A/D converters, and sample & hold circuits.
  • automatic test equipment
  • laboratory test equipment
  • control circuits
  • anywhere that excellent regulation and/or low ripple is required