I am new to Altium designer and had a question. For all of their generic component libraries from the Altium vault they only have 0603(1608 Metric), 0805(2012 Metric) etc.

From looking at mouser/digikey it seems like the normal 0603 and 0805 footprints are far more common. Why would Altium include the metric versions?

And if my previous statements are correct, does anyone have a good Altium library with non metric footprints?

Thanks in advance,


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    \$\begingroup\$ I'd hazard a guess that since Digikey & Mouser seem to be mostly focused on North American customers, and the USA still stubbornly clings to the old imperial measurement system ;-), listing parts by the old 0603/0805 footprints caters to most of their customers. You'll probably find that the datasheets of many of those parts will have their primary dimensions given in SI units though. \$\endgroup\$
    – brhans
    Mar 23, 2016 at 15:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ I recommend NEVER using the default or third-party Altium libraries. You'd be MUCH better off creating your own libraries. That way the component naming, component symbol style, pad style, etc is consistent. If you use libraries from different sources, your design will end up looking extremely sloppy. If you need help creating your own library, I made a YouTube tutorial for setting them up in Altium. Here is a link if you're interested: youtube.com/watch?v=-kyY25CGJtM \$\endgroup\$
    – DerStrom8
    Mar 23, 2016 at 15:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ thanks! Just to clarify. There is a different catigory for 0603 an 0602(1608 metric) on digikey but then when looking at demensions on this sitehttp://www.resistorguide.com/resistor-sizes-and-packages/ it looks like they are technically the same. Is this true? are the technically the same size but just have different names? \$\endgroup\$
    – mitch33
    Mar 23, 2016 at 15:55

1 Answer 1


There are two different systems for reffering to the size of SMT passives, confusingly these two systems use the same code for very different sizes.

The imperial codes are the dimensions in 10s of mils rounded to the nearest whole number (except in the case of 01005). The metric codes are the dimensions in tenths of a millimeter again rounded to the nearest whole number.

In my experiance the imperial system is more common.

"0603(1608 Metric)" is giving the size code in the imperial system first and then giving the equivilent metric size code in brackets.

If someone just says 0603 then they probablly mean "0603(1608 Metric)" but it's possible they mean "0201(0603 metric)".


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