I don't know what size to choose. Does SMD capacitor package matter in my case, Is it wrong to choose 0805 package?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Don't forget decoupling caps across the power rails of the IC. \$\endgroup\$ – DKNguyen Nov 15 '19 at 16:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DKNguyen I don't think I understood you very well, what exactly did you mean? \$\endgroup\$ – Smekeri BezPrezimena Nov 15 '19 at 17:04
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    \$\begingroup\$ Generally, you place a 10nF - 100nF (rule of thumb, though you can get more specific if requires) ceramic capacitor across all power-ground pins of all ICs as close as possible to the IC. Real wires have inductance which means when ICs need to draw high frequency bursts of current from a supply far away, they can't and the chips glitch up producing unpredictable behaviour. If there's something going haywire in a circuit you build, there's no point debugging if you don't have decouplgin caps in place. \$\endgroup\$ – DKNguyen Nov 15 '19 at 17:06

The short answer, for your circuit, it won't matter.

When it comes to ceramics, there is a dirty little secret. When you apply a DC voltage to them, their capacitance values go down. Sometimes very significantly, like 50-60% down. Some people have done empirical testing and found that for the same voltage and capacitance and dielectric type, then the larger packages do not suffer as much loss as do the smaller packages.

different caps with dc bias

Image taken from EDN here

Murata also has a good write up on it. To learn more google: "ceramic capacitors dc bias"


You won't find it in most datasheets. You have to go to the manufacturer's web site. For Kemet, here is an example Choose your cap through their search tool, then choose the KSIM button. Then select the DC bias plot. dc bias plot

  • \$\begingroup\$ In your quick answer, better to use 0805 package, if I used 12V power supply how much capacity would drop, and does that apply to classic THT capacitors as well? \$\endgroup\$ – Smekeri BezPrezimena Nov 14 '19 at 18:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ It's best to use the manufacturer's datasheet or website to look at a specific part and how it behaves. No it doesn't generally apply to through hole components, as the issue has to do with very high dielectric materials and very thin layers. \$\endgroup\$ – Aaron Nov 14 '19 at 18:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ my manufacturer is: eu.mouser.com/datasheet/2/212/KEM_C1090_X7R_ESD-1103328.pdf I don't find how many capacity drops? \$\endgroup\$ – Smekeri BezPrezimena Nov 14 '19 at 18:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SmekeriBezPrezimena See the edit in the answer. \$\endgroup\$ – Aaron Nov 14 '19 at 19:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ Now i was comparing DC Bias, I had less capacity maximum 7%, can 10%+ less capacity be tolerated? will the results be similar for other manufacturers, will capacity drop significantly after 2 years? \$\endgroup\$ – Smekeri BezPrezimena Nov 14 '19 at 20:21

In addition to @Aaron's mention of DC-bias effects, I think it would be remiss to not mention that parasitic inductance changes little with capacitance for the same package size, and is less for smaller packages.

So while you may gain reduced DC-bias effects for a given capacitance in a larger package, you sacrifice high frequency response.

For best decoupling, you generally want to use the smallest package size possible (1st priority) and get the largest capacitance you can get in that size (2nd priority), even if that means suffering a lot of capacitance reduction due to DC-bias. The extra capacitance helps make up for it (the more capacitance you stuff into a particular volume, the worse the DC-bias effects get).

The parasitic inductance is the limiting factor to decoupling high frequencies. You won't see much difference between a large and small capacitance in this regard if they have the same parasitic inductance.

However, the extra capacitance does improve low frequency decoupling. So although you can make do with a LOT of parallel, physically tiny capacitors of small capacitance, to get the best of both worlds, stuffing as much capacitance as possible into the same package lets you get by with fewer capacitors.

A 100nF and 4uF 6V cap in a 0306 package will have the same performance at high frequencies since they have the same inductance. In a circuit, the DC-bias might reduce the capacitance of the 100nF by 10%, and the 4uF by 80%, but 20% of 4 uF is still a lot larger than 90% of 100nF.

DC-bias effects only really matter for signal path (i.e. signal filtering) and timing applications where you rely on an accurate or consistent capacitance. For decoupling you usually want as much capacitance as you can get as long as the inductance is kept low.

But OP's circuit is so low frequency this won't matter much. For the most part, until you get to higher frequencies (>100MHz) or signal stuff, just balance cost of the part with a size you can actually work with it.

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    \$\begingroup\$ RE "parasitic inductance .. is less for smaller packages.", I have found many examples recently where this is no longer true. Probably not affecting OP, but when you get down to 0201 size, you might find the 0402 part actually has lower ESL. \$\endgroup\$ – The Photon Nov 14 '19 at 21:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ThePhoton Interesting. I've never encountered this after many hours staring at capacitor datasheets. Can you provide an example? \$\endgroup\$ – DKNguyen Nov 14 '19 at 21:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ check for example, Murata GRM188R60J226MEA0 (0603) and GRM219R61C226ME15 (0805) in the SimSurfing tool, the 0805 part has slightly higher SRF. \$\endgroup\$ – The Photon Nov 14 '19 at 21:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ But you can look at the L(f) characteristics and find one part has higher ESL at some frequencies and the other has higher ESL at other frequencies. \$\endgroup\$ – The Photon Nov 14 '19 at 21:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ Hey @ThePhoton, thanks for sharing that. I was also convinced that the smaller, the better, turns out if you go really small funny stuff starts to happen. Have you checked the thickness of the parts you mention? I would expect ESL to go up if thickness goes down, perhaps that's the reason. \$\endgroup\$ – Vladimir Cravero Nov 15 '19 at 9:06

Smaller package sizes have better high frequency performance due to reduced parasitic reactance. Larger packages have more stable capacitance with bias and are available in a wider range of values. Therefore as a general rule, when you need high frequency performance, you should use smaller. When you don't need it, you should use larger packages. This is why you sometimes see two capacitors of different sizes and packages in parallel.

In this case you have a cd4017 which has a rise time of tens of nanoseconds at best, and probably a clock frequency of kilohertz. I've seen them used with no cap at all. Use what you can solder most easily. Through hole if you want.

  • \$\begingroup\$ In this case what package would you choose 0805 or 1206? \$\endgroup\$ – Smekeri BezPrezimena Nov 15 '19 at 17:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ I use 0805s when it doesn't matter because they are relatively easy to solder but not huge like 1206s, but that is just personal preference. If you are uncomfortable with soldering SMDs, a through hole cap may be easier. \$\endgroup\$ – user1850479 Nov 20 '19 at 19:49

In this case, I'd choose 1206 for an uncrowded board, simply because it's easier on my old eyes. If the board is crowded, I'd choose 0805, or even smaller, to save space.

The other answers have demonstrated that there is no electrical reason to prefer one over the other here.


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