The continuing trend towards miniaturizing electronic circuits poses new challenges to the design of resistors. The increasing number of electronic functions in vehicles, for instance, causes the number of electronics per area unit to rise. This in turn affects passive components in multiple ways – particularly resistors. These components need to become smaller, while at the same time offering higher precision and better stability. A higher precision is achieved through tighter tolerance limits and lower temperature coefficient.
Thin-film chip resistor arrays can accommodate this demand for reduced size, higher precision, and increased electric stability through their integration of multiple resistors on a single ceramic substrate. By integrating these components, resistor arrays require less space than the same number of discrete resistors. This permits a higher package density of the electronic circuit and thus a higher number of electronic functions per area unit. In addition, thin-film chip resistor arrays are used in applications where the relative behavior of the resistors is critical, such as voltage dividers and feedback circuits in environments where operational amplifiers or dc-to-dc converters are used.
This article shows how thin-film chip resistor arrays can positively affect a circuit’s electric stability while at the same time minimizing the area required. Using the example of a voltage divider, the relative parameters “tolerance matching” and “TCR tracking” are explained and the temperature behavior of resistor arrays is discussed. In addition, it is shown how the tolerance and temperature coefficient of resistors can be controlled during the production process.
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