My confusion was inspired by this question. The OP asked to identify an electrolytic surface mount capacitor and its ratings. I answered assuming the pictured capacitor's capacitance was a three digit code. I made that assumption from previous purchases I've made where the printed markings were three digit codes.

Other posters said that the markings were the literal values. I looked it up and indeed many electrolytic surface mount capacitors are marked with the actual value.

My question is for electrolytic surface mount capacitors how can one tell when the value marked is a three digit code or when is the mark the literal value?

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ The datasheet, I guess. Nichicon uses a capacitance code of ABC where AB* 10^C. But if C = 0, then it omits it. So 100uF will be labelled as 101, but 82uF will be labelled as 82. \$\endgroup\$
    – DKNguyen
    Apr 22, 2019 at 18:01

1 Answer 1


The manufacturer will tell you on the datasheet. It's typically in the Packaging section.

  • \$\begingroup\$ "Read the datasheet", Well that's one way to go about it. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 23, 2019 at 13:19

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