Malvern, PA. – Vishay Intertechnology Inc. has begun sampling solid capacitors that use niobium as the anode material. Niobium is plentiful and has been touted as an alternative to tantalum. Because niobium is lower in density than tantalum, as well, it reduces the weight of the components and is more economical to use as a capacitor substrate.
Niobium oxide films are characterized by a higher voltage constant. However, Vishay has a new patent-pending manufacturing technique that yields solid niobium capacitors with a conventional MnO2 cathode that can be used as drop-in replacements for devices built with tantalum.
The first capacitors offered by Vishay will include devices in 293D, 292D and 595D form factors for output filtering in cell phones, PCs, DC-to-DC converter modules and a range of portable electronic systems. The niobium devices will be used as socket- and specification-compatible alternatives to 4-V to 16-V solid tantalum capacitors, as well as high-capacitance MLCCs and certain mid-range surface-mount aluminum capacitors.