Advantages of Using Resistor Networks When Designing Circuits
When a set of individual resistors are arranged in such a way that they can function as a single component, such as arrangement is referred to as a resistor network. They function as a unit as opposed to using single and separate resistors. This arrangement is made while considering the total resistance value that should be to be supplied to the circuit. The most common design material used in this case is the thick film technology. The reason why it is favored is because it has better qualities that include its high resistance measured per unit area, high power handling capacity as well as low cots when likened to other materials. Here are some of the advantages of using resistor networks in circuit design.
There are numerous different applications for resistor networks. Resistor networks find a wide range of applications across the electronics industry. This is because they have superior qualities to the individual discrete resistors. Network resistors are used to designed devices for industrial and commercial use as well as medical and military applications. They are also used in transistors, sensors and many other devices that require resistors. Because of the unique characteristics of each device, it’s necessary to design the resistors in way that addresses these needs. For instance, sensor resistors use value matching as an important property while those used in pull up/pull down applications do not need it.
Use of resistor networks creates the possibility of saving circuit board space. When thick film resistors are arranged into a network, they are constructed in single in-line modules vertically. This kind of design takes up considerably less space on the circuit board as compared to the single discrete resistors when mounted directly to the board. Additionally, it is possible to greatly improve the packaging density of the board because the network system makes use of high density track and gap networks.
There is improved efficiency of dissipating heat in the circuit. One of the major functions of resistors in the circuit is to dissipate heat. Thus, it is necessary to adopt an arrangement of the board that will ensure there is maximum dissipation of heat. With resistors in network arrangement, one is able to achieve this objective. The resistors are mounted in a vertical position on the board, meaning that there is space for the free movement of air amidst the components, a phenomenon that may not be achievable with discrete resistors.
Network resistors are capable of value matching. Value matching is a function of numerous factors such as the coefficient of temperature resistance, size of the resistors as well as the fluctuations of the load across the resistor. A resistor network is normally made up of resistors that have almost similar properties, if they are not all similar. And it is this similarity in properties such as size of individual resistors that makes value matching possible for the resistor networks.