Data Matrix encodes characters in the form of a bit sequence. The actual size of the code depends on many independent factors. These include:
- The quantity of data
- The type of data (numerical, alphanumeric, special characters, etc.)
- The printing technique - and with it the choice of module size
The module size, i.e. the dimensions of an individual data cell, can, in principle, be freely selected. The structure of the code is not linked to any fixed dimensions. How small a module can be printed is solely dependant on the printing method. Whether the outcome is a readable code is determined by adhering to the specifications for the print quality, which are described in the ISO Standard DIS 16022. In the following table thermal-transfer printers are taken as the reference for the size comparison. However, frequently in data matrix applications direct marking methods are used. Category c) commences from a module size of approx. 0.2 mm. This is a typical value also for direct lettering by means of zero-contact inkjet or laser. In the case of the latter, even significantly smaller module sizes can be achieved. However, in individual cases a check must be made to determine whether the minimum requirements in terms of the contrast can still be satisfied.