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I notice that when downloading a footprint from Ultra-Librarian that it often includes a set of 3. When downloading the models for the ITS414N for example it includes three slightly different footprints: Sot223, Sot223-M, Sot223-L.

Are these footprints meant for different layers or are they alternatives based on the needs of the designer? If so, why should one footprint be chosen over the other?

enter image description here

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Notice how the pads on each are different. These usually follow the different recomendations (usually from IPC) for high density, low density, etc.

Low density has bigger pads which will give you better thermal and electrical connections and can be stronger.

Depending on the soldering process (hand soldering, flow, oven) you might also want different pad sizes.

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