As technology advances in the medical device space, electronics design is constantly adapting to meet industry needs. Since implantable medical devices must be embedded into the body, one of the main goals is to reduce physiological burden by minimizing the need for invasive surgeries. To achieve these goals, capacitors are just one of the many components that need to meet the demands of innovation, which today most commonly means the super-miniaturization of electronic circuits and advancements in capacitor materials and design.
From Ultrasound to Radars, in a phased array system some of the most important design considerations are the number of elements and the element spacing since both drive cost and performance. In traditional arrays an inter element spacing of less than half the wavelength (<λ/2) is required to mitigate grating lobes.
Today, with the continued drive for more technical features in conventional cars and the increasing electrification of the drive train, the challenges facing electronics designers are ever increasing. Alongside a drive to lower costs and smaller form factors, MLCC’s are being used in ever harsher applications and in ever increasing numbers. This is driving board population density upwards and with it concerns for reliability and particularly the likelihood of mechanical cracking. Thus electronic designers are now demanding flexibility that exceeds the current Automotive Electronic Council bend test specification (AEC-Q200 Rev D June 1, 2010).
In our last article about electric vehicles (EV), we talked about using DC link capacitors as an intermediary buffer in power converters. Today’s topic covers another useful power module component – the snubber capacitor. Snubbers are energy-absorbing circuits used to protect electronics from voltage spikes and transients caused by turning a switch from the On to Off state. Opening a switch intrinsically induces a high voltage across the device, and the snubber provides an alternate flow path for the excess energy to be absorbed by the snubber capacitor and dissipated by a resister or other load.
In electric vehicle (EV) applications, filter capacitors are a special type of component commonly used as input and output capacitors. Also known as noise suppression or electromagnetic interference (EMI) filters, these particular capacitors act to remove noise and other unwanted signals on the line. On the high voltage alternating current (AC) side of a system, the capacitors often provide EMI filtering, whereas on the direct current (DC) side of a subsystem, they serve to smooth ripple components of the AC and filter out noise.
DC link capacitors are commonly used in power converters as an intermediary buffer between an input source to an output load that have different instantaneous power, voltages, and frequencies. In electric vehicle (EV) applications, DC link capacitors help offset the effects of inductance in inverters, motor controllers, and battery systems. They also serve as filters that protect EV subsystems from voltage spikes, surges, and electromagnetic interference (EMI).
Microwave and mmWave frequencies are found in RF applications and in optical communications. As we see increasing interest in mmWave for RF communications and move from 28Gbps to 56Gbps NRZ and 112Gbps PAM4 in the optical world, the system as a whole needs to maintain a high interconnect bandwidth.
One of the things all technical disciplines excel at is creating terminology that can trip up those who are not accustomed to speaking the language every day. Take the title of this article for example. These three words sound similar and are definitely inter-related, but they are not inter-changeable.
Manufactured using a thin-film process, Microstrip (planar) filters can offer a high quality factor (Q) and a reduced packaging envelope when compared to discrete lumped element designs, and are more practical at higher frequencies. The thin-film design can hold tighter design tolerances due to the distributed transmission lines forming resonant structures. Planar filters are a robust solution, attractive for applications ranging from established platforms, such as military warfare, to emerging technologies, like 5G. Below are some general-purpose resources for additional background, applications, and benefits of Microstrip filters:
Frequencies in the mmWave spectrum play a key role in 5G communications. RF technology that was developed around existing mmWave applications has evolved to encompass the needs of 5G wireless access. Components for such systems need to be selected for performance and cost – commercial systems are subject to intense price pressure and so both the purchase cost and the implementation cost of a component become important factors in selecting devices for a new design. Another key consideration can be size constraints and the need to preserve valuable board space.