Electronic – Large-value ceramic caps in small packages


I'm looking at some capacitors, namely ceramic, 10µF 50V caps. Here are the search results on Farnell UK.

Most are in big packages, 2220 or some form of stacked capacitor. But then there are the occasional X7R and X5R caps in 1206 and 1210 packages, like this one: GRM31CR61H106KA12L. It seems too good to be true, it's half the size of others and very low cost. It's not available yet, otherwise I would have bought some and tested them.

Any opinions? Has anyone tried these?

Best Answer

It is very likely that the 1206 ceramic cap and the large stacked ceramic cap differ greatly in one very important characteristic.


The larger cap can probably handle much larger surge and RMS currents, and likely has significantly lower ESR.

Remember, there is more to a cap than voltage and number of uF. If you're putting the cap in a big DC-DC that dumps 10A into the cap every switching cycle, and the 1206 cap has an ESR of .05 Ω, it'll get really hot and fail in a hurry.

The big stacked ceramics are typically used in extreme-duty power supplies, where a tantalum or electrolytic cannot handle the conditions.