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The Significance of an SMD IC in Electronic Devices

Surface mount technology (SMT) plays a crucial role in the manufacturing of electronic circuits. This technology involves mounting electronic components on a circuit, thereby enabling the creation of customized electronic circuits. Before the advent of SMT, the leads of individual electronic components go through the printed circuit board. On the other hand, SMT enables the direct soldering of individual components to a printed circuit board.

Surface mount device is the component mounted on a circuit board. Due to the advancement of SMT, circuit boards are now densely populated with components.

SMD is an electronic component mounted on a PCB. The surface mount technology (SMT) is the attachment method used for mounting these components. It is a faster method, compared to the through hole technology (THT).  

Also, SMT technique involves the use of automated equipment. It is a great option for miniaturized components.

What is SMD IC?

The integrated circuit (IC) is a surface mount device. It is a single component that carries out high-level tasks like advanced digital calculations, amplification, and signal processing just like microprocessors. There are a few electronic circuits that do not require the use of an IC. The SMD IC is also known as a microchip or chip.

Also, SMD IC offers excellent performance, miniaturization, and cost reduction among others. This component contributed to the miniaturization of electronic devices. Before the introduction of SMD ICs, some electronic devices were very large. However, the advent of SMD made it possible to produce compact and complex devices.

SMD IC offers a much cheaper alternative compared to the use of many semiconductor parts on a circuit board. For instance, the parts count for an electronics design could be 250  if it integrated in discrete components. The parts count can reduce to10 with SMD ICs. This means there is a reduction in the total materials count and a simplification in every aspect of the production process. You can make use of less resources with the right selection of ICs.

The specialized circuit in the chip enhanced the performance of an integrated circuit. It was expensive to implement  several radio frequency applications as discrete components. Also, the semiconductor industry looked for a way to build integrated circuits for special applications when the demand for a specific feature increased.

For instance, a good number of manufacturers developed medium-scale integration (MSI) chips when sound cards for PCs were introduced.

Before integrated circuits were discovered, the basic method of manufacturing circuits was to integrate components such as capacitors, diodes, transistors, inductors, and resistors. However, these components consumed more and there was a need to design a small component that consumes less power.

Types of Packages for SMD IC


There are various types of Packages for SMD ICs, these include:

Small outline L-leaded package (SOP)

In this type of package, the pins are usually linked as L shape from the both sides of the body. Ceramic and plastic are the most commonly used materials for this package type. Asides from the fact this package is being used for memory LSI, it is also integrated in small circuits.

Quad Flat L-leaded Packages (QFP)

The leads in Quad Flat L-leaded Packages are usually connected from four sides in an L-shape. Metal, ceramic, and plastic are commonly used for this packaging. Also, QFPs feature built-in heat spreader and a heat sink.

Ball Grid Array (BGA)

These package type involves the creation of spherical bumps on the rear surface of the circuit to switch the lead.  The LSI chip is usually mounted off the circuit board from the surface. After this, a potting or molding resin method seals the circuit.

Fine Pitch Land Grid Array

These packages feature solder land arrays on the back surface of PCBs.

What are the Functions of SMD IC?

Optimization of product manufacturing

The miniaturization of circuits has been the usual trend in electronics over the years. SMD ICs optimize product manufacturing by reducing resources and cost. The miniaturization trend makes it possible to manufacture electronic products that will offer more functionally and greater performance.

Functions as power regulators and amplifiers

SMD IC functions amplifiers,  as signal processors, and power regulators. These integrated circuits’ range is always from 8-pin to about 16-pin packages. There are about two pin rows in the most common of all the packages. There will be tworowsofabouttenpins in a 20 pin dual in line package.

The bigger chips come in handy most times. Also, most times complex digital applications like customized IC. This can have a microcomputer for several applications in telecommunication, power control, and automation.

Performance enhancement

One of the important functions of SMD ICs is that they enhance performance. The circuit integration in the chip makes it possible for these ICs to offer such a function. Also, performance enhancement is enabled due to the reduction in power consumption. This helps in achieving higher power efficiency.

SMD ICs are available in devices such as computers, cell phones, and cameras. There is a graphics processor in the hand-held gadget for gaming and this helps to drive colored screens.

Advantages of SMD IC

  • ICs are small-sized and lightweight components. This SMD component is much smaller than the actual size after passing through the fabrication process. It is much smaller than a discrete circuit.
  • Their small size also helps in reducing the weight, thereby enabling the miniaturization of circuit.
  • The manufacturing cost of SMD IC is very low since several similar circuits are  produced on a small semiconductor wafer.
  • The elimination of soldered joints and the presence of fewer interconnections make this component more reliable.
  • SMD IC doesn’t consume much power. This can be attributed their smaller size.
  • It is easy to replace an SMD IC rather than repairing it. This makes it a more economical option.
  • The operating speed of an IC increases since there is no parasitic capacitance.
  • Integrated circuits offer better functionality as the circuits in these chips are more complex. Also, SMD ICs can achieve better characteristics.
  • An SMD IC can function at extreme temperatures. Therefore, it is widely used in devices exposed to extreme temperatures.
  • Ideal for small signal operation since there is no electrical pickup as different components of an INC are usually very close to one another.
  • Since all the circuits are in the chip, there can’t be any external projections.

Disadvantages of Integrated Circuit

Some SMD ICs are very expensive. There may be some faults if these SMD ICs are roughly integrated and if any component of these ICs fails, there will be a need for replacement. A new component will have to replace the old one since they cannot be repaired. This is because the individual components in the SMD IC are too small.

  • The power rating of ICs are limited. This is because the power rating for the majority of IC’s doesn’t go beyond 10 watts. Therefore, this makes it impossible to produce high-power IC’s.
  • Also, another limitation of inductors and transformers can’t be used in an IC. Therefore, you need to externally connect them to the semiconductor pins.
  • It is impossible to perform High-grade P-N-P assembly.
  • The IC won’t work well if there get exposed to more heat and are not properly handled.
  • Also, it is very difficult to achieve a low-temperature coefficient.
  • Fabrication of capacitors beyond the value of 30pF is impossible. Therefore, it is important to externally connect high-value capacitors to the IC.
  • ICs have a high value of saturation resistance of transistors.

Applications of SMD Integrated Circuit

Integrated circuits are used in different forms. Also, they are ideal for use in a wide array of electronic devices. These include:

Consumer electronics

You will find SMD IC in various consumer electronics like televisions, juice makers, and video processors. This SMD components are responsible for the production of compact and powerful devices.

Telecommunication devices

Integrated circuits are widely integrated in telecommunication devices like RF encoders and decoders. These SMD components play a crucial role in the functionality of these devices.

Medical devices

Integrated Circuits serve various functions for medical devices. It performs functions such as memory storage, sensing, power management, and stimulation. The SMD IC offers all of these functions in medical devices.

Since implantable devices have to use less power, small, and lightweight, the use of SMD ICs in medical devices helps in meeting the requirements for medical device integration.

Other devices that feature ICs

  • Logic devices
  • Video processors
  • Memory devices
  • Audio amplifiers
  • Radiofrequency decoders and encoders
  • Microwave amplifiers
  • Voltage regulators
  • Small-signal amplifiers
  • Calculator chips
  • Microcontrollers
  • Clock chips
  • Counters
  • Timers
  • Memory chips
  • Temperature sensors Flip-flops.


SMD IC offers a much cheaper alternative compared to the use of many semiconductor parts on a circuit board. The miniaturization of circuits has been the usual trend in electronics over the years. SMD ICs optimize product manufacturing by reducing resources and cost.

The miniaturization trend makes it possible to manufacture electronic products that will offer more functionally and greater performance.

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