Electronic Components Blog

Monday, 15 May 2017 06:58

Knowles Capacitors update

Knowles Capacitors update

In 2014 Dielectric Laboratories (DLI), Novacap, Syfer Technology and Voltronics came together into a single organisation, Knowles Capacitors. With a combined history exceeding 175 years, and operating as a division of Knowles Corporation of USA, Knowles Capacitors was a merging of some of the world’s leading speciality capacitor manufacturers. The Precision Devices division of Knowles is a $200m+ global manufacturer of precision capacitors, components and crystal oscillators.

Knowles Capacitors, by virtue of its founding brands, is now a premier global source for Multilayer Ceramic Capacitors, Single Layer Capacitors, EMI suppression filters, Trimmer Capacitors, Thin Film Devices and High Reliability Capacitors. Together the company serves a variety of markets including military, aerospace/avionics, medical equipment, implantable devices, EMI and connector filtering, oil exploration, instrumentation, industrial electronics, automotive, telecoms and data networks.

Outlined are the 5 global facilities belonging to Knowles Capacitors (1 R&D in Norwich (UK); 3 production in Cazenovia (US), Valencia (US) and Suzhou (China); 1 distribution centre in Malaysia) which allow them to deliver products and service around the world, no matter the location or time zone. As recently announced, Knowles research and development Centre in Norwich (UK) have moved to new hi-tech facilities at the Hethel Engineering Centre. Knowles (UK) R&D facility has a traceable history back to the 1940’s under Erie Electronics Ltd, before becoming Syfer Technology in the 80’s. Over the years the R&D facility has led the industry with leading technical advances producing products of the highest quality, utilising superior materials that made Syfer a global leader. Today the remit is to support all four operating brands in developing new products.

This move reflects the commitment to R&D for the portfolio, manufactured at facilities in Cazenovia, Valencia and the newest of the factories in Suzhou, China. The capacitor facility located in the Xiangcheng Economic Development Area in Suzhou completed the relocation of Multilayer Ceramic Capacitor manufacturing from plants in the UK and Mexico. The 43,000m2 facility dedicates 10,000m2 solely to MLC production, with space to expand further. The Suzhou factory has seen more than a 50% increase in production capacity and is currently delivering a better than 95% on time delivery service and a 6 week lead time for standard products.

With the global R&D and manufacturing facilities now well established, the focus is shifting to new product
development. The current pipeline contains 3 main focus areas for new innovative products for demanding applications which includes; high voltage and higher capacitance density MLCC’s for the replacement of film cap; high temperature and high Q MLCC’s, miniature high-performance thin film filters and high voltage, higher capacitance density SLC’s for high frequency communication; higher temperature, high reliability MLCC’s for automotive applications.

Simon Mao, MLCC Product Manager, gave an insight at Electronica 2016 as to the new product developments taking place. In the field of replacing film capacitors wherever size or temperature is a concern, or an AC rating or a high C/V value is required then StackiCap™ comes into its own. StackiCap™ surface mount MLCs are designed to provide high CV in compact packages and offer the greatest volumetric efficiency and CV per unit mass of
any high voltage X7R ceramic capacitors available. Knowles has conceived, developed and protected (GB Pat. App. 1210261.2) a unique process in order to deliver this groundbreaking product. Combined with FlexiCap™ stress relieving terminations these parts have the potential to replace film and tantalum capacitors and make many stacked products obsolete. StackiCap™ parts are suitable for a plethora of applications such as switch mode
power supplies for filtering, tank and snubber, DC-DC converter, DC block, voltage multipliers etc. and will provide huge benefits in applications where size and weight is critical. At this moment 1812, 2220 and 3640 case
sizes have been launched and are commercially available, sizes up to 8060 are still under development.

One of Knowles strategic market focus areas is in electric vehicle charging, EV/HEV. Here the company sees its knowledge of producing components used in harsh conditions to be of considerable benefit to manufacturers – FlexiCap™ termination process and StackiCap™ high C/V technology being in the forefront. Products like open mode and safety certified Y2/X1 capacitors along with X2Y EMI filters are just some that will be of interest.

Related Solutions

  • Decoupling and filtering of RF Signals and noise

    The new V Series capacitors deliver increased broadband rejection in a significantly reduced footprint for bypass capacitor filtering networks.  Released under the DLI brand from Knowles Precision Devices, this cost-effective capacitor line is built on a compact 30 mil by 30 mil footprint.  This superior RF signal blocking design tool will solve the needs of design engineers looking to decouple RF signals from DC bias lines in active circuit designs, such as MMICs, or filter out noise from switching power supplies.


  • Aluminum Electrolytic Capacitors vs. Film Capacitors

    The progress in semiconductor design sets the trend in current and future devices of power electronics: it manifests itself particularly in smaller dimensions, as well as in higher voltages and switching frequencies. Referring to intermediate circuit capacitors, this trend leads to aiming at higher energy densities and larger current loads, and – at the same time – decreasing space.

    Under these conditions, especially aluminum electrolytic capacitors and plastic film capacitors offer advantageous solutions. Jianghai has both technologies in the production program and this article gives an overview on the major differences between aluminum electrolytic capacitors and film capacitors.

  • Prudent use of electrolytic capacitors in vibrating applications

    The use of electrolytic capacitors in vibrating applications like motor controllers or power tools, must be considered very carefully regarding specific criteria.
    When you're designing electronic control applications or drives, you have to think about specifications like higher power and miniaturisation.
    If you're designing vibrating applications however, you should not forget to think about vibration resistance and temperature!

  • Miniaturization of HV applications: a solution for every Power Electronics Engineer

    StackiCap™ has been set to revolutionise the world of large, HV(200V – 2kV), X7R Multilayer Chip Capacitors (MLCCs)!

    It dramatically increases the max capacitance values within a size/voltage or can reduce chip sizes. They take up 1/10th of the current footprint dimension and save up to 9/10th of the weight of a stacked cap. The advantages are spectacular on any HV products where pcb space is at a premium and max. capacitance is required in a smaller footprint. Typical applications include power supplies, projector modules, lighting systems and throughout the aerospace sector.


  • Knowles Precision Devices - DLI Dielectric Laboratories

    Dielectric Laboratories is a global supplier of microwave and millimeter wave components for optical and wireless communications, military, medical, semiconductor, aerospace, and transportation markets.
    DLI is a manufacturer of High-Q Multi-Layer capacitors (MLC) and Single-Layer capacitors (SLC), Resonators, Filters, Broadband DC blocks, Thin Film components, and Custom ceramic components. In 2004, DLI acquired Voltronics Corporation, a world leader in precision variable capacitors

  • Knowles Precision Devices - Voltronics

    Voltronics Corporation is the world's leader in the design and manufacture of precision trimmer capacitors. Their engineering team works closely with customers to develop leading edge technologies to solve all of their tuning needs for variable capacitors. Voltronics trimmers include air, glass, sapphire and PTFE dielectrics that can be used from 1 MHz to over 2 GHz and at voltages up to 20,000 VDC. We also offer a complete line of non-magnetic components for the NMR and MRI industries.

  • Knowles Precision Devices - Syfer

    Syfer Technology Limited is dedicated to the manufacturing of multilayer ceramic components. It's comprehensive product range includes high volume ceramic chip capacitors through to application specific capacitor assemblies and highly complex planar arrays. Syfer also designs and manufacture a range of EMI filters including threaded and solder in panel-mounted styles as well as surface mount devices for pcb applications.

  • Knowles Precision Devices - Novacap

    NOVACAP is committed to manufacturing superior quality multilayer ceramic chip capacitors. Product offerings include surface mount capacitors from the 0402 case size to larger high voltage units (up to 20kV) for Commercial and High Reliability applications. NOVACAP also specializes in application specific capacitors and capacitor assemblies

Related Blog messages

  • DLI power dividers for low power applications

    Knowles Capacitors brand, DLI, introduces its new high frequency, temperature stable, surface mountable and wire bondable Wilkinson Power Dividers. These Power Dividers incorporate DLI's low loss high permittivity ceramics and precision thin film fabrication, with integrated resistors, to provide a high performance and repeatable design solution.

  • DLI Directional couplers for turnkey or custom designs

    The new series of Directional Couplers from Knowles brand, DLI, provides another example of how high permittivity, temperature stable materials can reduce size/weight and provide excellent performance repeatability.

  • EAR99 Solutions from DLI no longer ITAR restricted.

    Determining whether an item is subject to ITAR or EAR is critical. Mistakes here can have serious consequences to MIT and to individual shippers. If the item is flagged as "specially designed" on one of the US Munition Lists, it's subject to the ITAR. Even thought it might seem to be an EAR item...the ITAR takes precedence. From now on all EAR99 Solutions from DLI, are no longer ITAR restricted.