There's always been something understandably alluring about materials meant to withstand alien elements (hence the reason Apple's "space gray" color is aptly named and fiercely beloved). AVX Corporation, known for passive components and interconnect solutions, just received approval for its X7R base metal electrode to be classified as space-level and admitted into the allowable materials approved under the European Space Components Coordination for both European and American space applications.
“This April, after years of extensive testing per the ESA’s 3009 specification, AVX became the first and only supplier to achieve ESA QPL status for X7R BME MLCCs, which enable revolutionary reductions in PCB size, weight, and component count due to their high CV capabilities,” said Michael Conway, product marketing manager at AVX.
AVX's Base-Metal Electrode (BME) Multilayer Ceramic Capacitors (MLCCs) give incredible reliability performance with smaller case sizes, both necessary for reducing launch cost in a space program scenario. The series is rated for 16 – 100V and 2.2nF to 8.2μF, making it not only ideal for I/O filtering and bulk storage in space and satellite communications, but also applicable for military defense and radar systems. Beyond that, though, if X7R BME MLCCs are applicable for space-grade uses, their integration into the consumer and industrial markets is not far-fetched. It would mean incredibly stress-resistant board flexures and an extremely high voltage range. There's much to suggest that AVX's acceptance by the ESCC portends greater advancements in the availibility of space-grade materials that can eventually be made available to every industry.