How do you normally shop for linear regulators?
By randomly lurching from one category to another searching variations over and over again. How else?
Sometimes I don't care if it's switching or linear. Usually I know ballpark Vout and Iout. And sometimes I need enable inputs and/or monitor outputs too.
My typical searches are variations on the following:
Simple, single rail
I know Vin, Vout and Iout. So I already have a feel of power and package. Other parameters are almost irrelevant. "Show me all the SOT223 or SOIC8 regulators across all categories. Sort by price/availability. Done"
Simple dual rail. e.g. 5v, 3v3
It seems logical that a multiple output regulator might be good here, but comparing 2 singles vs 1 multi is always harder than it should be. Will the order specified for Out 1 and Out 2 impact my search results? Which 'reg' is harbouring a whole heap of system basis functions that I don't need or want to pay for?
Find a single chip solution to my entire system requirements. For example: Vin 9 - 18v. Triple Vout: 3v3 @ 10mA, 5v @ 120mA, 12.5v @ 50mA. So 1 buck, 1 boost and a linear all in a single package please. Do they exist? Nobody knows because they are impossible to search for.
So those are my typical searches. Which lead me to suggest that for any device I want to know:
- number of linear outputs
- number of switching outputs
and for each output the standard electrical characteristics, but also which additional features it has per output such as:
- Monitor out
- Enable input
- Soft/delayed start
And for bonus points whether there are other system basis functions on board. High side switches, Input protection etc.
I hope there's something in the above which might be useful, but I suspect I may only just be catching up with your existing thinking on the matter.