New Resistors, Capacitors, and Inductors Simplify the Nuances of Design
While passives are often overlooked components, innovations in resistors, capacitors, and inductors—like the ones in this roundup—can make a noticeable difference in the design process.
Despite their often understated role, passive components, such as resistors, capacitors, and inductors, are essential building blocks in electronics. They provide a range of functions that significantly affect the overall performance of electronic systems.
Projection of the market growth of passive electronic components between 2023–2028. Image used courtesy of Mordor Intelligence
For instance, passive devices are an integral part of signal-conditioning circuits. With them, designers can perform signal processing such as filtering noise, amplifying weak signals, and adjusting signal levels to match the requirements of other components. They are also central to voltage regulation and power management systems. Moreover, capacitors and inductors are critical for storing and transmitting energy within systems.
This article focuses on a few recently released passive components and how they may affect electronic systems in the future.
Stackpole Introduces Thick-Film Chip Resistors
Stackpole Electronics recently released an RMEF series of general-purpose thick-film chip resistors that offer all the benefits of thick-film technology, including cost and performance, while being completely RoHS compliant. The resistors feature tolerance as low as 1% and a comparable temperature coefficient to other thick-film resistors on the market.
Most thick-film resistors are subject to specific RoHS regulations because of the materials and substances used in their manufacturing process, including lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs), and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs). RoHS exemption 7c-1 regulates that lead content in the solders of specific components remains under 85% by weight.
Stackpole’s RMEF series thick-film resistor. Image used courtesy of Stackpole Electronics
Finding RoHS-compliant thick-film chip resistors without 7c-1 exemption is difficult since maintaining high performance without these materials can be technically challenging. The transition to lead-free alternatives can also be costly and complex. With advancements in materials and manufacturing processes, lead-free thick-film resistors like Stackpole's new RMEF series can be more widely available.
Kyocera Unveils Series-Connected Supercapacitor Modules
Kyocera AVX released new SCM double-layer, series-connected supercapacitor modules featuring equivalent series resistance (ESR) as low as 2.5 mΩ. The series provides high efficiency and power density due to its low ESR. These modules can withstand high vibrations and currents, making them suitable for heavy industrial equipment, uninterrupted power supplies, utility grid and microgrid storage, and power shaving.
KYOCERA SCM series module. Image used courtesy of Kyocera AVX
These capacitors can also be used with primary or secondary batteries to extend battery life and back-up time and provide instantaneous power pulses. Additionally, the modules feature active cell balancing and can last for millions of cycles, making them useful for EV and HEV applications as well.
Würth Elektronik Launches New Line of PFC Inductors
Würth Elektronik (WE) has expanded its WE-TORPFC toroidal power factor correction (PFC) chokes with 17 new parts suitable for continuous-conduction mode (CCM) boost converters. The new inductor series uses flat wire windings for lower winding losses and offers better cooling than traditional bobbin-wound PFC inductors, the company claims.
Würth Elektronik’s PFC inductor family. Image used courtesy of Würth Elektronik
Flat wire windings have a larger cross-sectional area than round wire windings, resulting in lower resistance and power dissipation. They also distribute current density more uniformly, another reason for lower losses. With flat wire windings, the component features a greater surface area for heat dissipation. This results in a more efficient transfer of heat from high currents to the surrounding environment.
WE’s new inductors are designed for temperatures up to 155°C, rated for currents up to 48 A, and handle voltages up to 1,000 VDC, making them suitable for active power factor correction, industrial AC/DC, solar inverters, and other applications.
Passives Undergo Big Upgrades, Too
Passives, while often overlooked compared to active devices, are undergoing significant advancements impacting electronic designs. As electronics continue to shrink, the demand for reliable devices with smaller footprints grows. In addition, new wireless technologies like 5G require passives that can handle higher frequencies with minimal losses, meaning less parasitic effects. Capacitors and inductors are also evolving in the field of power electronics. Capacitors are now designed to store more energy in smaller spaces for energy-efficient applications.
These new components from Stackpole, Kyocera, and Würth Elektronik exemplify how manufacturers are upgrading passives to meet these heightening requirements.