Finally, my package from Microchip has arrived. The reason why I decided to get from them and not my usual Pasar road shop was because I need these chips in SMD (Surface Mount Device) format which is not easy to obtain. And looking for them in Pasar road is not easy. The guys were honest about it and even told me to go direct with Microchip. Which is not a problem for me because a few years ago, Microchip has started selling to non-industrial customers which is great news for me.

So, why am I going into SMDs all of a sudden?

1. Compared to its normal counterpart, the ship in quesstion is very small. This means saving space on the circuit board and is now possible to put the whole thing into a small model/toy/cramped space.
2. Smaller size means less power consumption.
3. Its also slightly cheaper

1. Once it is soldered, you cannot remove the chip as often as you wish, even though the chip is programmable. (Then again, you might have to redesign your board to accommodate In-circuit-serial-programming, ICSP)- You will destroy the copper tracks in the circuit board or the chip itself. Usually, its both.

2. Its small so your soldering skills must be up to par or else you would be doing silly things like shorting things out, create an improper solder joint or as usual, flub everything, thereby ruining your R&D money.

3. You also need a special SMD adaptor to fit into your chip programmer, which also costs money.

And so, this came from Thailand, which, took less
than a week. If I were to order this from other
places, it would have taken weeks.

One good thing about these companies is that
they pack things very well...

All precautions have been taken and so were the
anti-static bags

You might want to laugh at this but this is how
ICs are packed and delivered. But because of
its SMD size, your first impression would be,
"Is that it? Is that all my RMxxx.xx"

Anyway, this is a small comparison between the
SMD (bottom) and its usual DIP brethren (top).
See the difference in size? This is the SOIC
version, which is still OK to solder.

Soon, I will get to try them out. That is, once I am not too busy in a few month's time.