Shrinking Resistors: Advantages and Disadvantages
Ever since the sixties, electronic components have steadily gotten smaller. The advantage of shrinking circuit boards has enabled us to do more with less space. It has also lowered manufacturing and shipping costs. Here are the pros and the cons of smaller components such as resistors.
Smaller machines have enabled people to expand communications. A key advantage to smaller electronic components is greater circuit density, as increasingly more circuitry can be placed in a given PCB space than in previous decades. Even though cell phones have stopped getting smaller, the same amount of space holds much more circuitry than a decade ago.
As battery power continues to evolve in terms of sustainability and durability, demand is growing for battery-powered devices. This trend is helping save energy and use it more efficiently. The fact that these devices use up less energy with small components such as remote sensors gives them several days of battery life.
More Challenging Assembly
The smaller parts get, the more challenging it is to assemble electronic components. Resistors and other microscopic electronic components still must be physically soldered which requires focus. The main disadvantages to smaller parts is that they can be more fragile and get misplaced more easily. When components are not visible to the human eye they can be difficult to place accurately under a 3D microscope, making it difficult to test, rework or fix small circuits. Metals take on different behaviors at the microscopic level, as certain types of tin can cause electrical shorting.
Toward More Sustainable Solutions
The shrinking resistor is one example of how technology is moving toward more eco-friendly and efficient solutions. Smaller electronic devices and components means less of the earth's resources are being used for materials to create more productivity. Scientists are also looking for materials beyond silicon for creating computing devices more efficiently.
Also Read: Resistors: Types, Uses and How to Choose One