Laser Resistor Trimming

With laser trimmed resistors ATP can achieve tolerance of ±0.5% depending on design and material. Polished material is recommended when tighter tolerances are needed. Most laser trim types can achieve the ±1.0% without difficulty as long as the TaN area is large enough. See Recommended Minimum Trimmable TaN Area chart.

Below are listed all the different types of resistors that can achieve these types of tolerances.

Tolerances Recommended Trim Type Recommended Minimal Trimmable TaN Area
Resistors with ­­±0.05% Top Hat, Scan 0.008" × 0.008"(0.200mm × 0.200mm)
Resistors with ±1% Top Hat, Scan 0.004" × 0.004"(0.100mm × 0.100mm)
Resistors with ±2% Top Hat, Scan 0.003" × 0.003"(0.076mm × 0.076mm)
Resistors with ±5% Top Hat, Scan, L Cut,
Plunge Cut
0.003" × 0.003"(0.076mm × 0.076mm)

Laser beam spot trim typical size is 0.001" (0.0254mm).

Laser Trim Types


Plunge Cut: The most economical laser trim type. This is primarily due to the minimum amount of time required to trim the resistor with this technique. Overall tolerance accuracy can be less than the other methods. This method is recommended for DC applications.


L Cut: This method offers increased tolerance accuracy over the Plunge Cut. Due to longer time required to perform this cut, it is slightly more expensive. This method is recommended for DC applications.


Serpentine Cut: This trim type allows wider final value flexibility than the Plunge or L Cut. However, due to the increased number of cuts per resistor required, the price can increase substantially. This method is recommended for DC applications.


Scan Cut: This method offers both high-accuracy and high-frequency compatibility. The resistor material is typically removed from each edge of the resistor equally. This technique typically requires considerably more time per resistor than the other trim types. It is also more expensive. This method is recommended for all applications.


For more information on resistor trimming, please request document #DG50020 Design For Manufacturability, in PDF format (requires Adobe Reader).

Please use this form to request document #DG50020 Design For Manufacturability, in PDF format. Providing your email address will ensure a quick response. We will never share your information without your permission. (Privacy Policy)

Postal Code
Resitor Trim Type Recommended Application Advantages Disadvantages
Plunge Cut DC Minimum cost. Typically applicable only for DC applications. Limited tolerance capability.
L Cut DC Increased Accuracy—Lower tolerances Typically applicable only for DC applications. Slightly higher cost than Plunge cut.
Serpentine Cut DC
High value resistors
Increased Accuracy—Lower tolerances.
Wider final value flexibility.
Typically applicable only for DC applications. Higher cost than Plunge or “L” cut (depends on quantity of cuts required).
Scan Cut All Compatible with high frequency applications.
Excellent tolerance accuracy.
Highest cost.
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