Zero Ohm Resistor – Definition, Working, Symbol, Types, Uses & Characteristics

Define Zero Ohm Resistor

What Are Zero-Ohm Resistors?

A zero ohm resistor is a zero resistance passive component which is used as a jumper in PCBs (Printed Circuit Boards). Practically, a zero ohm resistor has a resistance which will range from 10 to 50 m Ω. The zero ohm resistors are generally marked with a single zero “0” or three zeros “000”.

What do you Mean by Resistors?

As we all know that resistor is a device that restricts the flow of current to a certain level. High resistance value resistors will restrict more current than the low resistance value resistors. For example, a 4.7 K resistor will restricts more current whereas a 100 Ω resistor will restricts less current. Light emitting diodes (LEDs), transistors and other semiconductor devices are very sensitive to electric current; too much current will destroy them, but too little current prevents them from working properly. A resistor of the correct value placed in the circuit allows Light emitting diodes (LEDs), transistors and other semiconductor devices to work in the electric current range that suits them best.
But what about the zero ohm resistors which has almost zero resistance. Zero ohm resistors can’t restrict the flow of current then what’s the use of it in a circuit. A zero ohm resistor can’t restrict the flow of current. So it cannot be used as a regular resistor. A zero ohm resistor is used in PCBs (Printed Circuit Boards) for a special purpose.

What is the purpose of using zero ohm resistors?

Why Do You Need Zero Ohm Resistors?

In most of the PCBs (printed Circuit Boards), components such as resistors, capacitors, diodes etc are inserted by using automatic insertion machines rather than manually by humans. However, it is not possible to insert jumpers by using automatic insertion machines. A separate jumper wire machine is needed to insert jumper wires or the jumper wires had to be inserted manually by a person. It would be more costly to purchase a jumper wire machine just to insert a single component (jumper). It would take more time to insert jumper manually by a person. The simplest solution is to use zero ohm resistor.
As we know jumper is used to close or open part of an electronic circuit. The zero ohm resistor also does the same thing. So the zero ohm resistor behave like a jumper in PCB. Therefore, the zero ohm resistor can replace the jumper.
Zero ohm resistors can be inserted easily by using automatic insertion machines just like we insert other components such as capacitors, diodes, etc.

What are the Main Advantages of Zero-Ohm Resistors?

There are certainly other ways of accomplishing this type of functionality, and the use of zero-ohm resistors might seem rather primitive. An SPDT mechanical switch would do the trick, or you could try a voltage-controlled implementation based on solid-state switches or MEMS switches. You might even consider adding a clever circuit that attempts to detect the voltage amplitude and route the signal accordingly. The fact is, though, that in some situations it is hard to beat the simplicity, low cost, and excellent electrical performance offered by the zero-ohm resistor.
Other solutions introduce various complications: high on-state resistance, distortion caused by input-voltage-dependent variations in on-state resistance, human error when setting the switch position, additional debugging and testing of firmware, and so forth.
Zero-ohm resistors are effective, reliable, inexpensive, and fully compatible with automated assembly.

The zero-ohm resistor is an excellent example of a component whose function seems unnecessary at first, and perhaps even useless. However, it is quite useful for designers who are aware of it and understand how it can help solve circuit and layout problems at very low cost with no or minimal complications. For those reasons, vendors offer them in various configurations.

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