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Capacitors enhance audio performance

Posted: 03 Feb 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Gina Roos? AVX? capacitor? audio? niobium oxide?

AVX's niobium oxide capacitors

AVX Corp. has introduced two series of capacitors that improve audio performance. The niobium oxide capacitors combine non-burn features and low-failure rates to enhance safety, reliability and performance in high-end audio applications such as flight audio systems, while the tantalum capacitors deliver high capacitance/voltage (C/V) values in a small package for space-constrained applications.

The NOJ OxiCap niobium oxide capacitor series (C case size, 220?F/4 V) may be designed into audio applications for handheld equipment and entertainment systems. A COTS+ version is also under development for military radio applications. OxiCap capacitors provide a high volumetric efficiency, and unlike aluminum devices, they do not suffer from dry out, which typically occurs at continuous operating temperatures above 40C.

In addition, with a mean time between failure (MTBF) rating between 200,000 to 500,000 hours, the OxiCap is said to perform 100 times better than aluminum electrolytic capacitors. "OxiCap also offers better stability of electrical parameters over time with a smaller variation of electrical parameters over temperature," said Dan Lane, AVX marketing manager, in a statement.

For space and height-constrained applications requiring high-capacitance devices, AVX also offers the TLC series of tantalum capacitors in a T case that offer a capacitance of 220?F, and a rated voltage of 4V. With a maximum height of 1.2mm, the T case is suitable for slim portable devices such as PDAs, mobile phones and other handheld equipment.

Lane said tantalum is often preferred to ceramic in audio applications since high capacitance/voltage (CV) MLCC capacitors have an associated piezo-electric effect, causing noise at audio frequencies. "Tantalum and niobium oxide capacitors exhibit high-capacitance stability when temperature and DC voltage fluctuate making them ideal for low and middle frequency coupling," said Lane.

The audio tantalum and niobium oxide capacitors also deliver high capacitance values in small packages and provide noiseless clear filtering to eliminate the piezo effect associated with other dielectrics. Both types are capable of withstanding three times reflow profile up to 260C, and are manufactured and tested to comply with the latest Pb-free, RoHS and JEDEC 020C requirements.

AVX tantalum and Oxicap capacitors (220?f, 4V) are priced at 20 cents to 30 cents in quantities of 10,000. Delivery is from stock to eight weeks.

- Gina Roos

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