A nickel barrier termination option added to the 0402-size multilayer varistors (MLVs) enhances their solderability. The improvement is due to the wetting characteristics of the termination, which helps the varistors resist sliding during the board assembly process. In the nickel barrier process, a plated nickel layer is placed over the standard silver termination to ensure that the termination is immune to solder leaching. Tin plating is then placed over the nickel layer to improve solder wetting characteristics. This enhancement is especially important in the manufacturing of digital consumer technology products like handheld devices, computers, and game consoles. The MLVs with nickel barrier termination are priced at $0.08 each in 10,000-unit quantities.
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