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How do I convert, lower, or raise voltage?

I have a project that needs a different voltage (or multiple voltages) than what I have available. Sometimes I need DC instead of AC, or I need a lower or higher voltage. How do I convert from one to another? Should I use resistors or a regulator or something else?

I’ve heard of converters, transformers, regulators, inverters, step-down, step-up, buck, boost, switching, linear, and other terms. Or acronyms (initialisms) like PMIC and LDO. Can someone shed some light on all this?

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