Valuable extension to ‘HiT’, high temperature MLCC, range by Knowles Capacitors

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One year on from the initial launch of a new range of high temperature MLC chip capacitors, Knowles capacitor brands Novacap and Syfer Technology have jointly announced a significant extension to the product offering.  As with the initial launch, this announcement coincided with another IMAPS event – the HiTEN 2017 symposium in Cambridge UK.

The Knowles Capacitors HiT range of MLCCs has an operating temperature range of -55 to +200ºC.  The range offers tin over nickel terminations that had not been previously available in the company’s other high temperature MLCC ranges. 

Launch specifications encompassed both Stable (C0G) and ultra stable (X7R) dielectric options in case sizes 0805 to 2220, with capacitance spread of 4.7pF to 3.3uF and rated voltages of 16 to 630V dc.  To be announced at HiTEN 2017 is the increase in specified max capacitor values for the 500/630V parts – upper limit now 68nF – and the addition of an 0603 case size in X7R material (C0G being hot on the heels).

This range, both RoSH compliant and lead free, is manufactured to exacting standards using Knowles unique screen printing process to provide a high quality component suitable for demanding applications. Projects in oil exploration, geothermal, military, automotive under-hood and avionics will find the wide capacitance range of interest.

EU programme leads to new ceramic dielectrics for automotive applications

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The Knowles Capacitors R & D unit based in Norwich, England, together with the UK’s National Physical Laboratory and Euro Support Advanced Materials of the Netherlands, have completed a project under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme. The programme was to develop a lead-free ceramic dielectric, with high energy density and reduced losses, for high temperature applications.

Hybrid and electric vehicles rely on high efficiency power conversion and management, with automotive power electronics representing an emerging £40 billion global market. In today’s vehicles, power electronics in energy storage and conversion systems require complex cooling systems, as existing capacitors cannot tolerate very high temperatures. This then adds weight to the vehicle and shortens energy storage/conversion systems life-time which, to the user translates into low mileage range and increased maintenance costs. Similar challenges are also faced by aerospace, oil and gas and semiconductor sectors, which technologies and reliability relies on high temperature electronics.

The major limiting factors for the use of ceramic capacitors in power electronics are size and temperature stability. Ferroelectric ceramics very often exhibit high energy density but fail to provide stable and efficient performance at high temperatures. The research, therefore, concentrated on finding a new BiFeO3-SrTiO3 ceramic composition that would yield a lead-free multilayer capacitor design. A design that would exhibit unprecedented low dielectric loss and high thermal stability whilst maintaining high energy density and fast discharge rates up to 200°C – and which ultimately could be used in real applications.

The conclusion of the research resulted in a breakthrough on the development and characterisation of two lead-free compositions based in the BiFeO3-SrTiO3 system and a manuscript entitled “Lead-free ceramics with high energy density and reduced losses for high temperature applications” has been submitted, and accepted, by Advanced Engineering Materials for publication.

The essence of the manuscript is this, “Our results indicate that our capacitors are characterised by a very high energy density and an impressive low dielectric loss which will reduce capacitor self-heating under a.c. operation conditions. These ferrite-based capacitors are also characterized by very attractive thermal performance, where small variation of capacitance from room temperature up to 200°C, which combined with their remarkable energy storage properties, makes them very attractive for high temperature applications. We believe that our findings in developing a new capacitor with superior performance at high temperatures, yet cost competitive with existing X7R capacitors (125°C maximum temperature and price ~ $0.50), will instigate a new era of high temperature power electronics and pave the way to the stabilisation of Low Carbon markets. These unique properties clearly outperform other state of the art ceramics and potentially create significant new markets for high capacity ceramic capacitors at high frequencies and high temperature operations.”

Work now begins at Knowles Capacitors to convert these findings into new product offerings.

The research received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) for the Clean Sky Joint Technology Initiative under grant agreement n° 641553. The funding was aimed at better exploiting research capacities in Europe and transforming scientific results into new products, processes and services. It had a Global budget of €52.52 billion.

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APEC 2017 brings in new products from Knowles Capacitors

APEC 2017 will see Knowles Capacitors exhibiting a range of new and updated products from its Syfer, Novacap and DLI brands. Visitors to booth 739 will have the chance to see range extensions in AEC-Q200 qualified products, new thin film technology and high reliability capacitors.

Syfer branded AEC-Q200 approved ranges offer a voltage rating of up to 3kV, meeting the requirements of modern automotive applications including EV and HEV. Three such products are 250V ac Safety Certified Capacitors; High Temperature X8R Capacitors (up to 150OC) and Surface Mount EMI Feedthrough Filters.  All are available with their award winning FlexiCap™ flexible termination to reduce the risk of mechanical cracking.

There will also be a number of Hi-Rel caps on show including specialty feed-through capacitors, high voltage capacitors assemblies and vertical mount capacitors. Syfer and Novacap branded Hi-Rel products are designed for optimum reliability and find uses with various demanding applications including Space, Military and Civil aviation, Industrial, Rail and Medical.

From DLI, a particular highlight will be the PX range, a high-reliability solution for DC blocking in a wide variety of applications – semiconductor data communications, receiver optical subassemblies, trans-impedance amplifiers and test equipment. The new PX Series compliments DLI’s performance leading OptiCap® broadband devices, which provides DC blocking performance from 16 KHz to 40 GHz, but in a more low profile. The PX series provides a surface mount, low cost, solution that exhibits ultra-broadband performance, extremely low insertion loss, low frequency stability and excellent return loss across the wide bandwidth.

Knowles X8R MLCCs go non-mag with new dielectric formulation

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Knowles Capacitors is pleased to announce that their ongoing material development process has qualified an X8R dielectric material to be Lead (Pb) free. This is part of Knowles environmental commitment to continuously develop materials that are more environmentally friendly, as well as ensuring continued compliance to the existing requirements along with potential future changes to the EU RoHS directive.

The company says this new dielectric material will replace the current X8R materials that contain Lead (Pb), though these remain available on request. The new material will be used for standard X8R Multilayer Ceramic capacitors (MLCCs) and AECQ200 MLCC X8R Multilayer Ceramic Capacitors for all voltage ratings (50V up to 3kV) and capacitance values 100pF up to 2.2uF. Case sizes from 0805 to 2225 are available. This gives Knowles Capacitors one of the the widest ranges of voltage, capacitance and cases sizes available for an X8R product range in the industry.

Knowles Capacitors R & D centre has accumulated extensive reliability test data in order to verify that this new dielectric meets, or exceeds, all reliability and quality specifications. The TCC (capacitance variation with temperature) of the material also meets X8R specifications.

Knowles Capacitors R & D centre has accumulated extensive reliability test data in order to verify that this new dielectric meets, or exceeds, all reliability and quality specifications. The TCC (capacitance variation with temperature) of the material also meets X8R specifications.

The new range is qualified to AECQ-200 from 100V upwards and includes a range extension over the existing standard X8R range, which is manufactured to the same exacting standards for use in demanding applications. Knowles unique FlexiCap termination is available across all product types. Data packs are available on request.
The current X8R Space grade (S02A or S03A), and IECQ ranges are not affected, nor are the non-magnetic parts, planar arrays, discoidals or EMI filter products.

10300_Pb free X8R TCC graph

Knowles brand, DLI introduces new ‘Xtreme Broadband Blocking’ range

Knowles brand DLI is establishing a range of broadband blocking components under the ‘Xtreme Broadband Blocking Components’ heading.  Existing parts, like Opti-Cap, Milli-Cap, MLC Broadband Blocks and RF Blocking Networks, will be included, as well as new ones.  The first of which is the PX range for DC blocking applications up to 40 GHz.

The PX series provide design engineers with high-reliability solutions for DC blocking in a wide variety of applications – semiconductor data communications, receiver optical subassemblies, transimpedance amplifiers and test equipment.  Adding to DLI’s performance leading OptiCap ®, which provides DC blocking performance from 16 KHz to 40 GHz, is this new PX Series.  The PX series provides a surface mount, low cost, solution that exhibits ultra broadband performance, extremely low insertion loss, low frequency stability and excellent return loss across the wide bandwidth.

It has been developed to complement the existing MilliCap® and OptiCap® broadband devices but in a more shallow profile.  Rated at 16VDC from -55°C to +125°C, the new PX series ultra-broadband capacitors initially feature a 0402 case size and X7R dielectric characteristics at 100 nF – a 0201 sized version, currently available in MiliCap ® and OptiCap® series, will follow shortly.  This smaller package size makes for easier pick and place assembly, whilst not compromising on the bandwidth performance.

Available with Sn/Ni terminations as standard for high volume solder assembly.

Knowles Capacitors – Electric vehicles and the coming evolution to 5G

Knowles Capacitors will be at Electronica 2016

Come and visit us at Electronica 2016 , Munich Germany 8th / 11th November 2016.
We will be in Hall 6 stand 336 on the Knowles stand.

10193 250VAC chips

Passive electronic components have always followed the advancements made by actives – and Knowles brands have always been in the forefront in developing products to suit. The two current hot topics are electric vehicles and the coming evolution to 5G – both firmly in the sights of Knowles with new products to see at Electronica 2016.

Today’s vehicles have many electronic control units that enable absolute precision and control. Electronic components used in these complex systems must withstand this harsh automotive environment. Whilst Knowles Capacitors has developed a range of capacitor products for automotive manufacturers (AEC-Q200 rev D) the company is poised to offer solutions not considered catalogue items.

Three such products are 250V ac Safety Certified Capacitors; High Temperature – up to 150°C – X8R Capacitors and Surface Mount EMI Feedthrough Filters. All available with their award winning FlexiCap™ flexible termination to reduce the risk of mechanical cracking.

Syfer branded Safety Certified Capacitors meet Class Y2/X1, X1 and X2 requirements to offer designers the option to replace leaded film types for reduced board space and lower profile. This range offers some of the highest available capacitance values in certain case sizes available.

The Syfer branded High Temperature X8R range incorporates a specially formulated termination to enhance the mechanical performance in harsh environments. X8R dielectric also operates from -55°C to +150°C with a maximum capacitance change ±15% (without applied voltage).

E01 and E07 ranges of feedthrough MLCC chip ‘C’ filters, again Syfer branded, are 3 terminal chip devices designed to offer reduced inductance compared to conventional MLCCs when used in signal line filtering. Available with current ratings of 300mA, 1A, 2A, 3A and voltage ratings of 25Vdc to 200Vdc.

In the field of mobile communications, 5G focuses on improving speed and latency to deliver a better user experience in order to enable the volume and diversity of devices and applications used.

DLI branded Thin Film devices for 5G applications have been introduced as ‘catalogue items’. Specific surface mount devices, like Bandpass, Lowpass and Highpass filters together with Power Dividers and Couplers have been developed to aid design engineers leading this evolution to 5G.

DLI’s Microwave Products integrate two core competencies – ceramic expertise and thin film manufacturing – where high permittivity and temperature stable dielectric materials allow products to be designed smaller, with higher selectivity in filtering applications.

Knowles brings innovation to European Microwave Week


Knowles Capacitors will be at European Microwave Week 2016 in force with a selection of new products across its brands – DLI, Novacap and Syfer.

Stand number 178 will feature a new range of high temperature Multilayer Ceramic Capacitors in 0402, 0603 and 0805 sizes with ultra-Low ESR and High Q characteristics available from the Syfer and Novacap brands. In addition DLI branded 175°C MLC devices in UL and AH High Q Porcelain dielectrics will be shown. DLI will also be showcasing their EAR99 Filters, Power Dividers and Couplers together with the introduction of 5G specific surface mount device options. DLI single layer ceramic Milli-Caps and Opti-Caps are another highlight.

Milli-Cap behave like an Ideal Capacitor, constructed as a single piece unit with insensitive orientation. They match typical 50Ω line widths with very low series inductance and ultra-high series resonance. They are low loss, High Q parts available in 0201, 0402 and 0602 footprints. Capacitance range covers 30pF – 220nF over the ceramic dielectrics X5R: -55°C to +85°C (TCC ± 15%) and X7R: -55°C to +125°C (TCC ± 15%).

Opti-Cap Ultra Broadband DC blocking capacitors exhibit low loss frequency stability over temperature with very low series inductance. They provide resonance free DC blocking to >40GHz. Available in 0201, 0402 and 0602 footprints for SMT by solder or epoxy bonding.

Typical applications include Test Equipment, Photonics, SONET, TOSA/ROSA, High Speed Data; Broadband Microwave/Millimeter Wave and Transimpedance Amplifiers.

Knowles directional couplers from DLI for turnkey or custom designs

The new series of Directional Couplers from Knowles brand, DLI, provides another example of how high permittivity, temperature stable materials can reduce size/weight and provide excellent performance repeatability.

These small size Directional Couplers are manufactured using DLI’s precision Thin Film technology and offer a great option for microwave systems in commercial, military and space applications.

Designed for a 50Ω characteristic impedance, they offer a turnkey surface mount solution for high frequency power monitoring. The four port couplers are excellent for high frequency signal monitoring applications where board space is a premium and quality power detection or injection is required. COTS devices covering C, X and Ku bands offer quick turn solutions in a solder surface mount package with flexible PCB feed line configuration. Both 10dB and 20dB coupling values are available within each frequency band both with a common footprint for maximum flexibility.

The devices are designed to provide high directivity, excellent repeatability and stable frequency over the temperature range -55 to +125 ºC.

Chip and wire mount devices with the same performance are also available – custom solutions are also available to suit individual size and performance parameters.

Knowles Capacitors Defense & Space

Knowles Capacitors products are widely used in many of today’s most significant defense, domestic security, aerospace and space applications, including

C4ISR – Supporting command, control, communication, computer, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems. We make significant contributions to all aspects of the command chain by providing solutions for radio, SATCOM, data links, SIGINT, radar, guidance and air traffic control systems.

Electronic Warfare – We are proud to be a valued supplier to EW system makers, including providers of counter-IED equipment for force protection.

UAV – Knowles Capacitors is supplying many of the latest unmanned system technologies, often with newly developed products requiring exactly the right combination of technical performance, size and weight.

Space – We have a rich heritage of success serving space requirements, including all underpinned by Hi-reliability test capabilities and appropriate certifications.

Detonation – Our high energy discharge capacitor technologies are used in modern, safe detonation systems.