Several major technology shifts are occurring in the mature ceramic capacitor market. Some of these shifts involve changes in materials; others involve changes in packaging.
To cope with escalating costs, some vendors are converting their palladium-based products to base-metal electrodes (BME) to off-set the high cost of palladium, which has tripled during the past two years, to about $1,000 per ounce. At the same time, other materials are being evaluated as potential replacements for palladium. Vishay Intertechnology (Malvern, Pa.), for instance, is working to replace palladium in its multilayer ceramic chip capacitors (MLCC) with BME and polymer technology. The company is also evaluating niobium as a possible replacement material. Read more...;