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Decoupling capacitor selection

Two parasitic effects must be considered when selecting decoupling caps.  As with most parasitic effects, they are hard to measure, and no two manufacturers seem to report them the same.

Equivalent Series Resistance (ESR) : This value will be about the same for thru-hole or SMT packages.

Equivalent Series Inductance (ESL)  : This value will be much lower for SMT parts, compared to thru-hole.

These parameters will limit the amount of instantaneous current the cap can supply. Check the cap’s datasheet and make sure that neither parameter is unacceptable for your design.  

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