Here’s what you may have missed while you were soaking up the sun

Remember when summers were for relaxation? Peaceful days at the beach building sand castles with your kids or playing a round of golf where you barely kept score or boating with family and friends on a tranquil lake. Work seemed to be less frenetic in July and August and when you came back to the office after your annual two week hiatus it seemed as if not a lot had happened (and sometimes your absence was not particularly noticed, which was worrisome).

Perhaps it is just a sign of time passing with age but things just don’t seem to me to be as laid back work-wise during the summer months as they used to be. And that’s especially true if you are involved in a red-hot industry sector such as automotive. Indeed, the number of applications for passives in the automotive space is proliferating like jackrabbits on a fertility drug. It ranges from motor inverters to drive the electric motors used in EVs/HEVs to ADAS modules for blind spot detection and lane departure warning to subassemblies for cockpit electronics to on-board chargers, keyless entry systems and EMI protection. The full list is almost endless.

As the old saying goes, misfortune in life is not so much what one suffers but what one misses. So OK, now that you’ve put down your favorite summer brew and folded up and placed the big umbrella back in the garage here’s a brief summary of new and notable parts introduced for automotive applications while you were less than your usual attentive self. All of the products mentioned comply with the Automotive Electronics Council (AEC) Q200 specification. AEC is an industry organization consisting of major auto manufacturers and major electronic component manufacturers and Q200 is the industry’s de facto standard for product reliability, including high-temperature/high-humidity resistance, thermal shock resistance, and durability.

Kemet announced the extension of its T598 range of tantalum polymer capacitors with new higher voltage rated parts. The addition of 35V devices for capacitance values of 22 and 33 microfarads represents a first-to-market for the supplier. The new AEC-Q200 qualified parts extend the range of automotive applications in which the benefits of tantalum polymer devices can be utilized, and provides a product capable of meeting voltage transient requirements. As with other parts from the T598 range, Kemet’s new higher voltage polymer electrolytic capacitors provide a space-saving solution that helps miniaturize automotive power circuit designs. The key performance advantage of T598 devices is ultra-low equivalent series resistance (ESR), which minimizes energy losses and capacitor self-heating, thus allowing the devices to handle large ripple currents without excessive thermal stress. In addition, the polymer capacitor’s ESR has a low temperature coefficient, which helps to ensure stable performance over its -55 to +125 degrees Celsius operating temperature range.

AVX released its new Antenna PowerGuard Series varistors for ESD protection in capacitance-sensitive applications. These new AEC-Q200 qualified parts represent an extension of its AntennaGuard range with new voltage, capacitance, and energy ratings. Antenna PowerGuard Series varistors exhibit high current and energy handling capabilities, low insertion loss, low leakage current, and high reliability compared to diode options. Other features include, bidirectional overvoltage protection, EMI/RFI attenuation, fast response times (<1nS), and multi-strike capabilities. The small SMT packaged series is well suited for use in RF and optic circuits, sensors, high-speed and data lines, antennas, radar, and other capacitance-sensitive applications.

The new Antenna PowerGuard Series varistors are currently available in two case sizes (0402 and 0603), three working voltages (18, 24, and 30VDC), and three capacitance ratings (1.5, 2, and 3.3pF). The series features a 25kV ESD rating, energy handling capabilities spanning 0.02 – 0.04J, and peak current handling capabilities ranging from 1 – 3A, and is rated for use in operating temperatures ranging from -55°C to +125°C with no de-rating.

Murata took the wraps off of its BLM15HG_BH series of 0402 size (1.0×0.5mm) chip ferrite beads with guaranteed temperature use at 150°C for automotive powertrain safety applications. This product is scheduled to start mass production in October 2017. The company noted that a guaranteed 125°C usage temperature product has been on the automotive market for noise suppression in the vicinity of mounted sensors, but the new product attains the 150°C guaranteed temperature usage needed by customers. This, Murata claims, eliminates the need to avoid high temperature areas when installing, thereby granting greater freedom of design. Murata previously introduced a 150°C guaranteed temperature usage chip ferrite bead, which can be solder mounted, in the 0603 size (1.6×0.8mm) and 0805 size (2.0×1.25mm). Adding the 0402 size to the product lineup for the same series of 150°C guaranteed temperature usage chips contributes to space saving.

TDK presented a new series of 3D transponder coils with a high sensitivity level for passive entry passive start (PEPS) and other access systems. Measuring just 11.5 mm x 12.5 mm x 3.6 mm, the B82453C*A* series features six types of 3D transponder coils that offer sensitivity levels from 45 mV/µT to 83 mV/µT and inductance values from 4.75 mH to 13.2 mH. The center frequency is at 125 kHz. Thanks to the core geometry of the new 3D transponder coils, their sensitivity levels are about 20 percent higher than that of predecessor or competitor components with comparable geometries and inductance values, according to TDK. This enables the wake-up function of PEPS in vehicles applications to be activated at greater distances.

The RoHS-compatible 3D transponder coils have an overmolded casing and the terminals of the windings are laser-welded. As a result, they feature high mechanical stability, as is proven by the severe drop tests required for PEPS applications. Accordingly, the new transponder coils are qualified to AEC-Q200.

Yageo released the world’s smallest metal current sensing chip resistor. Designated PA 0201 the part measures just 0.6 mm x 0.3 mm. Metal alloy current sensing chip resistors are mainly made by machinery processing, and the challenge of this manufacturing process is the tight tolerance of its tiny size. The PA0201 features resistance of 5mΩ ~ 20mΩ, with high precision (1%), low temperature coefficient of resistance (TCR 100ppm/°C) and low thermal EMF. The PA0201 is AEC-Q200 qualified, and meets automotive customers’ requirements. Yageo’s PA series of metal alloy current sensors comes in a wide range of sizes (including 0201, 0402, 0603, 0805, 1206 and 2512).

For a breakdown of Automotive Markets for Passive Components, FY 2017 see Dennis M. Zogbi’s September 5 column in MarketEye

Murray Slovick


Murray Slovick

Murray Slovick is Editorial Director of Intelligent TechContent, an editorial services company that produces technical articles, white papers and social media posts for clients in the semiconductor/electronic design industry. Trained as an engineer, he has more than 20 years of experience as chief editor of award-winning publications covering various aspects of consumer electronics and semiconductor technology. He previously was Editorial Director at Hearst Business Media where he was responsible for the online and print content of Electronic Products, among other properties in the U.S. and China. He has also served as Executive Editor at CMP’s eeProductCenter and spent a decade as editor-in-chief of the IEEE flagship publication Spectrum.

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