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I think different devices may be employed in different circumstance.In most DIY handmaking design,a 7805 or LM317 would be commonly used,while in some real products may prefer low-dropout regulator or switching circuits.I have formerly used these device:78XX series,LM317,TPS54613......
I think there is no general answer possible, because it depends on the application:
- linear, e.g. 7805 I would use only if the design should be really cheap and power-dissipation is no problem at higher currents.
- linear low-dropout I would use only if I needed it (e.g. regulation from 12V down to 5V needs no low-dropout reg.).
- switching regulator I would use if cost is no problem but powerdissipation is a great problem. But you have to consider that EMR could be a serious problem in this designs.
So, maybe you could tell us, what you want to do in your design, so we can help you...
I think it is much depend on what is your application. For Low-cost solution, commonly you will use 78XX series. But it's ripple rejection capacity is not good when you a pulse load.
LDO (Low Dropout) regulator, many manufacturer will chose TOKO and Rico because of low cost.
For Switching IC, it also depend the application, some application may need the IC itself consumed as low as power possible for example ISDN TE application. But for Desktop PC, common DC adaptor use the UC3842 because it is quite stable and easy to use.
I have good experiences with Linear Technology LDO LTC 1084 and other regulators. It have better protection, thermal shutdown, short circuit protection, transient response and line regulation then 7805 and LM317 and other older regulators.
You can short ouput (I tested) without any problems and open circuit and everything will be nice.
Output voltage have much less noise then switching regulators and this regulator well suited for voltage sensitve uC applications.
This regulator is more expensive then older regulators but if you need good performance linear power supply use it.