Voltage Derating Rules for Solid Tantalum and Niobium Capacitors

Abstract: For many years, whenever people have asked tantalum capacitor manufacturers for general recommendations on using their product, the consensus was "a minimum of 50% voltage derating should be applied." This rule of thumb has since become the most prevalent design guideline for tantalum technology. This paper revisits this statement and explains, given an understanding of the application, why this is not necessarily the case.

With the recent introduction of niobium and niobium oxide capacitor technologies, the derating discussion has been extended to these capacitor families also.

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