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Empower sees boost from MLCC shortages

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

Empower Semiconductor in the US is increasing production of its E-CAP silicon capacitor technology to address shortages in the supply of Multi-Layer Ceramic Capacitors (MLCC).

The MLCC was estimated at $8.4bn in 2018, dominated by Murata and Samsung.

Empower Semiconductor has made the most significant advancement for capacitors in decades as E-CAP enables new possibilities for today’s applications through size reduction, performance increase, and improved reliability. MLCC’s are also prone to material shortages and pricing volatility as witnessed most recently, says the company.

“Since we launched E-CAP in late 2020 there has been unprecedented demand for our technology by industry leaders in mobile and data center products. More recently we have received increased demand due to the supply shortage of MLCC products,” said Steve Shultis, Senior Vice President WW Sales and Marketing at Empower Semiconductor. “We knew our performance was winning and the added benefit of our supply chain has created a tremendous surge in demand for E-CAP.”

E-CAP can be used to replace MLCC products as a power supply bypass capacitor in low voltage DC-DC voltage regulators and in-package for SoC’s and Processors. The E-CAP silicon capacitor has no DC or AC bias de-rating, no temperature de-rating, and no significant effects of aging.

Combined with an ESL under 15pH, E-CAP provides a highly simplified and reliable option to the system designer. It is available in configurations up to 8.4 microfarad for operating voltages under 5V. Height limited applications are addressed with the capability of less than 100µm in thickness and the die format allows for footprints that are 80 percent smaller than equivalent MLCC based solutions.

E-CAP is currently offered in two standard products with additional configurations coming soon. The EC1001 is a 220nF low ESR/ESL silicon capacitor in an 0402 package. It can be used as a replacement for common MLCC values of 0.1 microfarad/0.22 microfarad/0.47microfarad. The EC1100 is a 620nF silicon capacitor array (2.5 x 0.6mm) comprising 5 capacitors that can be combined or used individually. Both products are available as 150microfarad thickness in Tape & Reel.

Empower used the devices in its EP70XX integrated voltage regulator (IVR) to provide higher power efficiency and improved SoC/CPU voltage accuracy during load transients.

https://www.empowersemi.com/ecap-new-capacitor-silicon-revolution/

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