Thomas
Lövskog

Smallest, ridiculously smallest, ludicrous smallest, …

CEO Additude Innovation

If Technology doesn’t fix the problem … we need more technology!


A few years ago, Murata, Taiyo Yuden and ROHM among others presented the next step down in passive component sizes. They both presented the 008004 (0201m) component size which is a step down from the smallest so far call 01005 (0402m).



Now they are popping up in use a bit everywhere. Very few EMS can mount them, and some that can won’t do it enthusiastically … repair is also a nightmare.

I thought we should have a look at the current state of small passives.

Really confusing naming scheme

The basic naming scheme for passives is the size in length followed by the width. In the beginning, it was the sizes in decimal part of inches. A passive called 0805 is 0.08” x 0.05”. The 008004 is then 0.008” x 0.004”.

Gradually metric sizes were introduced. As usual not everybody embraced metric at the same time, and some never.

With larger components like the 0805, which is called 2012 metric was not a problem.

Physical size

Imperial name

Metric name

6.3mm x 3.2mm (0.25” x 0.12”)

2512

6332

5.0mm x 2.5mm (0.20” x 0.10”)

2010

5025

4.5mm x 3.2mm (0.18” x 0.12”)

1812

4532

3.2mm x 2.5mm (0.125” x 0.10”)

1210

3225

3.2mm x 1.6mm (0.125” x 0.06”)

1206

3216

2.0mm x 1.2mm (0.08” x 0.05”)

0805

2012


However, when we got to the tiny bits, it became seriously confusing.

Physical size

Imperial name

Metric name

1.6mm x 0.8mm (0.06” x 0.03”)

0603

1608

1.0mm x 0.5mm (0.04” x 0.02”)

0402

1005

0.6mm x 0.3mm (0.024” x 0.012”)

0201

0603

0.4mm x 0.2mm (0.016” x 0.008”)

01005

0402

0.3mm x 0.15mm (0.012” x 0.006”)

-

03015

0.2mm x 0.1mm (0.008” x 0.004”)

008004

0201


As you can see both 0603, 0402 and 0201 is available as metric and imperial. To remedy that the metric once is often named 0603m, 0402m and 0201m or 0603mm, 0402mm and 0201mm.

Capacitors

Capacitors is available from Murata and Taiyo Yuden in the sizes of 0201m (008004) as well as 0402m (01005).

Inductors

Inductors are also available from Murata and Taiyo Yuden in the sizes of 0201m (008004) as well as 0402m (01005). Wire wound inductors are available in 0603m (0201) sizes … again wire wound, actual inductors with a wound wire around a core that is 0.6 x 0.3mm

Resistors

Resistors is a bit trickier it seems. However, ROHM has readily available resistor able to handle 20mW in the sizes of 03015m.

Machine mounting

Today most EMS with experience can mount 0603m (0201). You need to pay attention to the paste used, the stencil openings, land patterns and other PCB related but an experienced EMS can do it. However, do check. Quite many will say they can, because their equipment is supposed to handle it. As with everything else, when you reach the state of art, experience really triumphs equipment datasheet.

The smaller once is being used and equipment exists. As an example, Apples used 01005 already in the iPhone 4s and I have myself used 01005 on an FPC when it really was needed.

Hand soldering

When I started in the industry beginning of 1990’s at the age of 23 the standard part used was 2012 (0805). Already then, I thought it would be impossible to hand solder, but it worked out. Today at 49 with poorer eyesight, it is child’s play. Then we had 1608 (0603) and surely that would be impossible, but worked. Then 1005 (0402), and 0603m (0201). 1005 (0402) and 0603m (0201) needs to be done under microscope and 0603m (0201) preferably with tweezer soldering iron. However, 0402m (01005) is impossible ... or?