Munich, Germany - AVX Corp. is among the first passive-components vendors to launch a family of niobium oxide capacitors that claim to solve a number of problems inherent in metal capacitors. The Myrtle Beach, S.C., company will unveil the line at the Electronica show here next week.
By using a niobium oxide anode in combination with proprietary manufacturing processes, AVX says it is able to offer high-performance, high-reliability and long-lived niobium capacitors that eliminate the drawbacks typically associated with metal ones, such as high leakage, inability to withstand high-temperature reflow and susceptibility to thermal shock.
Designated the OxiCap series, the solid electrolytic ceramic capacitors fill the performance gap between ceramic multilayer and aluminum electrolytic capacitors, providing a safe, robust, lead-free surface-mount solution, said the company.
The nonburning technology is thermally robust and offers lower derating and light weight because of its material density, said Bill Millman, division quality and technology manager for AVX in Paignton, England.
The capacitor technology also virtually eliminates the problems with capacitance drop and high dc leakage typically exhibited in aluminum electrolytic capacitors, he said. "Because it's a solid electrolytic capacitor," Millman said, "it doesn't suffer from the capacitance losses normally associated with high-temperature and long-term operation or from capacitance bias effects when operating close to its rated voltage."
Rail voltages up to 5 V suit the capacitors for filtering applications, the company said. The voltage-derating characteristic of the OxiCap is 20 percent, compared with the standard 50 percent for comparable products, thanks to its high reliability and safe-failure mode, AVX said.
The company said one OxiCap capacitor offers equivalent series resistance (ESR) values typically achieved with up to 10 aluminum electrolytic capacitors. For example, the NOS series can provide an ESR of 100 milliohms with 330 microfarads at 4 V in a D-case size.
In addition, the capacitors offer a more rugged construction and production capability than alternative solutions such as aluminum, aluminum polymer and tantalum polymer capacitors, which are more susceptible to thermal and mechanical shock, according to the company.
The devices are available with voltage ratings of 4 and 6.3 V; 2.5- and 10-V models are under development. Capacitance values range from 10 microfarads in a 1206-size (A-case) package up to 470 microfarads in a 7343H (E-case) package. The operating temperature range is -55 degrees C to 105 degrees C for the NOJ series and -55 degrees C to 125 degrees C for the NOS series (the low-ESR version).
The ready availability of the new dielectric may also mitigate supply chain problems, AVX maintains. Millman said that niobium is widely used in other industries but is not dominated by use in electronics. Moreover, he said, the technology to develop this material for use in capacitors is simpler than in metal-based capacitors. "At the outset of our development project, AVX considered the material supply chain to ensure long-term availability for our customers," he said.
In OEM quantities, typical pricing for the OxiCap NOJ series capacitors is approximately 5 cents (A case, 10 microfarads) to 18 cents (D case, 100 microfarads). Delivery takes six to eight weeks. Samples are available immediately.
Call (843) 946-0414
Electronica Hall B5, Stand 175