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What Are Chip Resistors and Their Types?

Chip resistors are integrated circuit (IC) devices that oppose the flow of electrical current, and are primarily used to protect, operate, and control circuits. They find use in a vast array of applications, including automotive, transport, industrial, consumer electronics, and IT & telecommunication industries. In particular, the consumer electronic industry has seen a high demand for chip resistors as technological advancements have brought about a new era of electronic products.

Chip resistors are also known as surface-mount devices or SMD resistors and can be designed in square or rectangular chip bundles. A chip resistor can have a definite value of resistance or a flexible, more variable resistance within a specific range. It is important to note that it is a passive component that can only decrease current or voltage signals. To better understand why such devices are garnering popularity, we must cover how they work. 

As they form the main components of many advanced electronics, without them, there is nothing to limit the flow of current. Too much current can damage the device and even potentially destroy it. Their use is also not constrained to electronic products. According to a report by Research Dive, the global chip resistor market is predicting a revenue of $3,330.3 million by 2028 due to the demand for chip resistors in the industrial realm.

With resistors finding use in a variety of applications, they are often equipped with different technology.

Thin Film Technology

This technology consists of the deposition of a thin metallic layer on a ceramic substrate. Resistors with this technology are equipped with enhanced resistance to a particular area, and thus, save a lot of space. Unfortunately, thin film technology makes chip resistors prone to failure, owing to high operating temperatures, chemical contamination, and water vapor.

Thick Film Resistors

This type of chip resistor is formed by applying a resistive metallic paste on a base. Thick film resistors offer enhanced resistance and are more cost-efficient than their counterparts. Though they are also noisier than other types, they are frequently used in circuit units that require less accuracy and permanency.

Foil Resistors

Foil resistors are constructed by applying a metal foil to a ceramic substrate that is photo-etched with a resistive design. By photo-etching foil resistors, they offer improved stability, reduced capacitance, non-inductance, and decreased noise generation without the need to sacrifice speed or precision. As such, these aforementioned qualities make them a go-to choice for a variety of applications.

Chip Resistor Production

Chip resistors are often designed, developed, and tested according to numerous standards. For example, rectangular low power SMD resistors adhere to BS EN 140401-801. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a devastating impact on the global chip resistor market. As such, the production of chip resistors has plummeted, owing to the nationwide lockdown and restrictions on transportation activities. Additionally, the prohibition on export and the shortage of raw materials have caused major disruptions in the manufacturing of chip resistors.


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October 13, 2021

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