Victor Lu

Victor Lu

Recent Posts

Selecting MLCCs that Meet the High-Reliability Requirements of Medical Implantable Devices

Posted by Victor Lu on Oct 26, 2022 8:45:00 AM

Designing medical implantable devices for high reliability is crucial for a variety of reasons. First, given the life-critical functions performed by many medial implantable devices, and the invasive procedure required to implant medical equipment properly in the human body, it is imperative that all medical devices are designed to function reliably throughout their entire lifetime. Furthermore, since patient safety is paramount, any precautions to reduce the possibility of potentially life-threatening malfunctions, recalls, and replacement surgeries are necessary. And, beyond preventing patient safety issues, there may also be severe economic and legal implications for device manufacturers if an implantable device fails.

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Topics: Capacitor, Medical, High Reliability

Comparing PME and BME MLCCs for High-Reliability Applications

Posted by Victor Lu on Jul 13, 2022 8:15:00 AM

Multilayer ceramic capacitors (MLCCs) are made up of two materials—ceramic dielectric material and metal electrode material. Layering metal electrodes and ceramic dielectrics (Figure 1.) achieves voltages that are capable of producing high electric fields that ultimately allow MLCCs to regulate current flow and prevent electromagnetic interference between components. There are two common electrodes used in MLCCs: precious metal electrodes (PMEs), containing palladium silver, and base metal electrodes (BMEs), containing nickel or copper. Each electrode type holds a spot in the capacitor world for a reason.

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Topics: Capacitor

Understanding the Impact of ESR on Ceramic Capacitor Selection

Posted by Victor Lu on Jul 6, 2022 8:00:00 AM

In an ideal world, capacitors could be designed in a way where they would exhibit no resistance. However, this is physically impossible to achieve as there will always be some type of internal resistance in a capacitor that appears in series with the capacitance of the device. Known as equivalent series resistance (ESR), the level of this resistance will vary across capacitors depending on a variety of factors including the dielectric materials used, frequency of the application, leakage, and quality and reliability of the capacitor. The two graphs in Figure 1 show an example of how ESR can change as frequency increases across various capacitances on two different classes of ceramic dielectrics.

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Topics: Capacitor, High Reliability

Impedance: Examining the Opposition

Posted by Victor Lu on Mar 30, 2022 9:00:00 AM

Impedance, measured in ohms, extends the concept of “opposition” to alternating current (AC) applications. It accounts for resistance, the opposition of current flow, and reactance, the measure of opposing alternating current – an effect of inductance and/or capacitance. In direct current (DC) applications, we talk in terms of resistance, not reactance. Chances are: This isn’t new information. But there’s a reason we wanted to cover this topic – impedance values play an important role in capacitor selection.

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Topics: Capacitor

Capacitors in Space: Specifications for High-Reliability

Posted by Victor Lu on Mar 23, 2022 9:00:00 AM

Space missions present a unique set of environmental challenges that demand high reliability down to the smallest electronic components. Mission failures could cost human lives. From in-flight systems to power supplies, every single system contributes to the success of a space project, so they must maintain high quality and safety standards for long durations.

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Topics: Capacitor, Military and Aerospace, High Reliability

Surface-Mount vs. Through-Hole Technology (Yes, We Still Need THT)

Posted by Victor Lu on Feb 23, 2022 9:00:00 AM

There are two main mounting schemes for placing components on a printed circuit board (PCB): through-hole technology (THT) and surface-mount technology (SMT). Given its popularity over the last few decades, it’s no surprise that designers default to SMT, but there are advantages to both schemes that are worth exploring, especially for high-reliability application designs.

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Topics: High Reliability

SLCs vs. MLCCs: Which Capacitor Type is Right for My Application?

Posted by Victor Lu on Feb 9, 2022 9:00:00 AM

Capacitors are essential passive components for designing any electrical circuit. But there are so many options to choose from with a wide range of specifications that it can be overwhelming to determine what capacitor may be the best fit for your application. One early decision that circuit designers must make is to determine if a single-layer capacitor (SLC) or multi-layer ceramic capacitor (MLCC) is the right fit for their application needs. 

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Topics: Capacitor

Further Increase MLCC Reliability with CSAM Testing

Posted by Victor Lu on Feb 2, 2022 9:00:00 AM

When an electrical device fails, oftentimes, the root cause can be traced to a field failure of a capacitor. While it is rare for the failure to be caused by a capacitor defect that was introduced during manufacturing, it can happen. This is especially true when multi-layer ceramic capacitors (MLCCs) are used versus other more simplistic capacitor types such as single-layer capacitors (SLCs) since the manufacturing process involves stacking many layers of dielectric and electrodes on top one another.

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Topics: Capacitor, High Reliability

On-Demand Webinar: The Importance of High Reliability for Medical Implantable Devices

Posted by Victor Lu on Jan 5, 2022 9:00:00 AM

If you are a medical device engineer working to improve the longevity for implantable devices such as pacemakers, defibrillators, insulin pumps, cochlear devices, or bladder stimulators, be sure to checkout our latest on-demand webinar – The Importance of High Reliability for Medical Implantable Devices.

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Topics: Medical

Simplify Capacitor Dielectric Selection by Understanding Dielectric Coding Methods

Posted by Victor Lu on Oct 27, 2021 9:00:00 AM

When designing a ceramic capacitor, the type of dielectric used will influence the characteristics of the capacitor and define its electrical behavior. At a high level, there are two types of dielectrics made with ceramics – paraelectric and ferroelectric. Dielectrics containing paraelectric (or non-ferroelectric) ceramics are known as Class I dielectrics. These dielectrics show a linear relationship of polarization to voltage and are formulated to have a linear temperature coefficient. Capacitors using a Class I dielectric have high stability across various temperatures, but have low permittivity, which means the capacitor will offer low capacitance.

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