Passive components are indispensable basic components in electronic products. The annual usage starts from trillions, the price is cheap, the number of materials used is large, and most of them are general-purpose types, which belong to a niche market.
In recent years, due to the increasing demand for light, thin, short, and small features in consumer electronic products, the global passive components are in short supply. As more and more electronic products become smaller and smaller, the demand for various miniature and high-capacity and high-voltage passive components has skyrocketed, coupled with high technical difficulties, passive component products are in short supply.
What are Passive Components?
Passive components are also called passive components and passive devices. There are different definitions in different fields, which can refer to electronic components that consume but do not generate energy, or electronic components that cannot generate again. The opposite components are active (active components, active devices).
Passive components refer to components that provide relevant passive functions to cooperate with electronic active components. If there are passive components, there will be active components. Active components are like IC chips, memories, and diodes that we often hear. The difference between passive components and active components is that a passive component is an electronic component that does not generate electricity, but consumes, stores, and/or releases electricity. Common passive components such as resistors, capacitors, and inductors are the most used and indispensable important components in electronic products and are collectively referred to as the three major passive components.
For example, any electronic product must use two components, active components, and passive components. Active components are components that can actively perform operations independently, such as CPU (Central Processing Unit) or various ICs. Passive components play a passive protective role. When an electronic product changes current or voltage, the role of passive components is to protect active components through low voltage and noise filtering.
Passive components are passive components, and active components are active components. The so-called source refers to a voltage source, a current source, and the like. Passive components can operate without being connected to electricity and can produce functions such as regulating current and voltage, storing static electricity, preventing electromagnetic wave interference, and filtering current impurities. Compared with active components, when the voltage of passive components changes, the resistance and impedance will not change.
The Function of Passive Components:
- Resistor: The main adjustment current and voltage size.
- Inductor: It mainly filters the noise in the current, prevents electromagnetic wave interference, and stabilizes the current.
- Capacitor: It mainly stores electrical energy, and performs functions such as coupling and coordination.
- Integrated components: Cross-integration of resistors, capacitors, and inductors to form special functional components. Such as filters (integrating resistors, capacitors, inductors plus transistors or amplifiers), which function to filter signals, and couplers (LED plus resistors or diodes), which function to distribute microwave power into several strands of microwaves.
Among passive components, capacitors have the largest market size. Capacitors can be divided into ceramic capacitors (MLCCs), aluminum capacitors, and solid-state capacitors. Their function is to store electrical energy in circuits for coordination and coupling.
Application of Passive Components:
Benefiting from the strong demand for smartphones, electric vehicles, and automotive electronics, the application of passive components has expanded. With the complexity and diversification of product functions, the power consumption will also increase, so more passive components are required for voltage regulation, current regulation, noise filtering, etc., to maintain the normal operation of the terminal device.
Take a car as an example. In the past, a traditional car used about 1,000 to 2,000 passive components. When it enters an electric vehicle or autonomous driving, it is estimated that 5,000 to 10,000 passive components will be used, and the demand will grow at a double rate.
Passive Component Features:
The capacitance value of multilayer ceramic capacitors is proportional to the surface area of the product and the number of stacked layers of ceramic films, and the product code is usually divided by the package size. However, due to the advancement of ceramic film stacking technology, the smaller the volume, the smaller the capacitance value may not be, and MLCC began to replace electrolytic capacitors and tantalum capacitors. Of course, the latter two still occupy a considerable market share, and each has its advantages. However, with the popularization of high-performance consumer electronic products such as personal computers and smartphones, the demand for MLCCs has increased. Also getting bigger.
Ceramic capacitors are favored because of their physical properties such as high voltage resistance, high heat, wide operating temperature range, and low loss rate when used at high frequencies, and can be chipped to reduce volume, low price, and high stability. It is very suitable for mass production. Although the capacitance value of aluminum capacitors is high, and the degree of chipization is second only to MLCCs, the performance is more affected by the environment. Tantalum capacitors also have the advantages of DC bias and stable capacitance, low leakage loss, and pressure resistance to substrate deflection, but they have more pollution problems and are more expensive.
It is not only required by traditional electronic products but also the automotive industry needs passive components. Especially in recent years, new products such as electric vehicles and self-driving cars have become popular. In the past, a car required nearly 2,000 passive components. There are designs as high as nearly 10,000 pieces, and the demand cannot be underestimated. Not only MLCCs, but also aluminum capacitors are now delivered for more than half a year, and the market is in short supply.