Harnessing passive innovations

AVX Fellow, Ron Demcko, explains how passive component technologies are underpinning the rapid growth of electronic systems across all industries

As all electronics sectors continue to grow, from aerospace to industrial and consumer, the increasing use of semiconductors is driving demand for passive support components. Interestingly, IC and circuit efficiency is becoming more dependent on the correct selection and individual efficiency of passive components. From a high-level view, the right passive component can help the IC operate at peak performance.

There are many examples of this, occurring across all sectors. For example, low inductance capacitors, traditionally used only in high-speed decoupling, have expanded their use in supplying fast current pulses in RF modules, radars and laser drivers.

Tantalum polymer capacitors have reduced parasitic losses that continue to dominate miniature onboard power conversion and even drive their conversion efficiency higher. Also, they are fast becoming the capacitor of choice in GaN bias capacitor banks and FPGA power trees.

Ultra-broad band capacitors and resistors have such low loss across frequency that they are fueling direct RF conversion, laser communication and software defined radio design trends.

Miniature SMT heat pipes exhibit such low parasitic loading that they are now used on active pins of digital and RF semiconductors and provide supplemental heat flow paths, allowing these semiconductors to operate at higher speeds and power levels.

Regardless of the sector, advanced ICs require higher performance passives to deliver peak performance. This demand is rising and advanced performance passive components continue to evolve and offer designers’ disruptive solutions.