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From: "Walter Harley"
Subject: Re: How to Choose Cap to Filter Pwr for IC?
Date: Thu, 19 Sep 2002 17:51:39 -0700
Organization: Posted via Supernews, http://www.supernews.com
Reply-To: "Walter Harley"
X-Newsreader: Microsoft Outlook Express 6.00.2600.0000
"Jeff Walther" wrote in message
> The thing that puzzles me about this is that the ceramic chip capacitors
> seem to be less expensive than the tantulums, at least in the Digi-Key
> catalog I'm looking at. So I was seeing ceramics actually used on
> baords, but getting the impression that the tantulum were better given the
> higher cost. But if ceramic are better for this application and cheaper,
> that sounds great to me.
Different caps for different applications. If you need a lot of
capacitance, electrolytics are far cheaper per uF than ceramics.
> Mike, why did you mention electrolytic caps in your posting? Are
> tantulums also electrolytic? I see some that are listed as tantulum
> electrolytic but others that are just listed as tantulum.
All tantalums are electrolytic. Not all electrolytics are tantalum.
Tantalum has better high-frequency response than aluminum, and can be
smaller for a given capacitance than aluminum, but is higher cost for a
particular capacitance, is not available in very high values, has been
accused of higher distortion when used as an audio coupling capacitor, and
has been accused of being more prone to fail catastrophically when subjected
Ceramic is generally accepted for chip bypass applications. Smaller values
may have lower inductance and thus less impedance at very high frequencies.
Horowitz and Hill's "Art of Electronics" discusses capacitor types (as well
as virtually everything else worth knowing). A discussion of different cap
characteristics relative to audio applications is available at
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