Designing with Tantalum and Niobium Oxide Capacitors for NextGen Automotive Control Circuits

November 23, 2012 // By Radovan Faltus, AVX Tantalum Division
For use in demanding environments that call for higher performance under electrical and mechanical stress, AVX developed its TRJ tantalum professional capacitor series. Technical improvements have been made that strengthen the structure of capacitor and make it more robust in such environments.

There are several main differences between standard reliability consumer electronic tantalum capacitors and TRJ products which result in enhanced reliability (0.5%/1000 hours) and reduced leakage current (to 75% that of standard tantalum specs). The changes include:

  • The use of well-tested tantalum powders to ensure the long-term stability of electrical performance.
  • Formation ratio, which is ratio between voltage used for electrolytical creating dielectrics and rated voltage is more than 3.0. It results in thicker and high quality dielectrics.
  • Conservative design rules are followed both in design and manufacturing. Very strict quality control limits are applied and additional testing is performed. 100% hard surge current screening, extended electrical testing and accelerated burn-in processes are used to achieve and verify the high robustness of the parts.

The TRJ series capacitors are available both in standard and low ESR (equivalent series resistance) options, which make them suitable for a wide range of automotive control circuits in applications such as engine control units, ABS systems, MDPS, electronic gearboxes, TPMS, etc.

Ultra low ESR high performance tantalum capacitors

New series TRM capacitors combine the robust and reliable technology of the TRJ series (0.5%/1000 hours) with a remarkable multi-anode construction which uses several capacitor cores in parallel combination; this pushes ESR levels down to only 18, 23 or 25mΩ, depending on device selected.

Such ESR levels enable TRM capacitors to be used in DC/DC converters in various automotive applications.

High temperature tantalum capacitors

Standard tantalum capacitors technologies typically have a temperature range of –55degC to +125degC. Modern automotive electronics placed near the heat sources such as engines, headlights, gearboxes or cooller circuits, must operate up to 150 or even 175degC. With an operating temperature range of –55 to +175degC, AVX's THJ Series meets this requirement. The category voltage, which is the maximum working voltage when actual operating temperature is considered, is 50% of rated voltage at 175degC. THJ Series tantalum capacitors also offer enhanced reliability (failure rate

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