I'm looking at two integrated circuit packages: SOIC and SOP. They seem (almost) identical (pitch, overall size, etc...)
Is there any important differences between these two packages that I am overlooking?
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Yes, there are subtle differences that may or may not affect a particular design. For example, look at the specified package height from the bottom of the pins to the top of the body.
Whether differences like these are "important" depend on your application. Never trust the manufacturer's package name. You must manually step through all relevant dimensions.
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