I have been doing some net-surfing on Farnell's website and stumbled upon a section called

MELF Surface Mount Resistors

MELF Resistor

According to Wikipedia, this package family has a rather funnily sounding de-abbreviation Most End up Lying on the Floor, since they are extremely easy to lose. This may be due to the fact that they are cylindrical... I myself have lost quite a few of such diodes.

Wiki says, that there are three basic sizes. MELF, MiniMELF, MicroMelf - the two latter are in the power-rating range of 0603/0805 resistors. The 1W MELF package is obviously useful for dissipation reasons.

So my question is, why on Earth would anybody design a board containing small MELF components, since they can easily be replaced with more modern flat parts? I cannot see a single advantage. Please prove me wrong.


The cylindrical construction of MELF devices provides an optimal power rating and pulse load capability related to the mounting space. Continuous development has led to improved long-term stability and moisture resistance, and allows high-temperature operation to + 175 °C.

This paper explores why this resistor series has become so successful, and why there is often no alternative to it today in professional applications.


  • \$\begingroup\$ Second Google hit... How could I have missed that... \$\endgroup\$
    – Dzarda
    Jan 29 '14 at 17:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, you miss the +1 too. The paper title says MELF Resistors - The World’s Most Reliable and Predictable, High-Performing Film Resistors your funny jokes stop :) \$\endgroup\$ Jan 29 '14 at 17:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ Fair enough.... \$\endgroup\$
    – Dzarda
    Jan 29 '14 at 17:15

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