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26

If you read the ST datasheet you will see that they offer both the thick and thin tabs, with the LM317T being the default "single gauge" and the LM317T-DG having the thicker ~1.3mm tab. As of this writing, and using Digikey.com pricing (probably quite a bit higher than production quantity pricing- and more likely indicative of list price ratio), ...


10

Cost-cutting, nothing more. Less copper (which is what that tab is made of) means less money to make it, and the LM317 is an incredibly cheap part that they've shaved off every bit of cost they can. I suspect the different die area will also play a role, perhaps even a larger one, in determining thermal resistance. The IRF540N is a reasonably high-power ...


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