Capacitor Lead Times For December Point Toward a Shifting High Tech Economy

Shifts in lead times for specific sub-components in the capacitor product groupings for December 2010 suggest a continued downward market trend for mass produced components consumed in digital electronics such as computers, handsets and TV sets; but an upward market trend in components consumed in power electronics.

December 2010 Capacitor Lead Time Update:

During the month of DECEMBER 2010, lead times for capacitors, otherwise known as the time it takes in weeks for a component to leave the factory and reach the customer, decreased for the third straight month- dropping by 6.2% to 20.4 weeks, but certainly moving in the opposite direction that the lead-time index has demonstrated all year. A 10% drop in lead times associated with tantalum capacitors, which have demonstrated extended lead times all year over fears of materials shortages, was the largest influencing factor in the overall drop in lead times for capacitors for the month of December 2010. Lead times for DC film capacitors, which have demonstrated extended lead times also due to a tightness in raw materials supply, dropped by 8.9% in December on a month-to-month basis. Lead times for ceramic capacitors dropped by 1.17% in December; while lead times for aluminum capacitors remained unchanged. On a trending note, and when viewed over an extended period of time, DC film capacitors and aluminum capacitors continue to trend upward pointing toward increased demand from the power and industrial segment; while tantalum, extended all year, and the most difficult dielectric to obtain, has relaxed its lead times again in December. Ceramic capacitors have been trending very stable over the extended view of lead times for the 2010 year.

Figure 1.1- Lead-Times For CAPACITORS BY DIELECTRIC (In weeks): 2010

Source: Paumanok Publications, Inc. All Rights Reserved- Capacitors: World Markets, technologies & Opportunities: 2011-2015 ISBN #0929717023

December: Capacitor Lead Time Trends By Dielectric: 2010

Tantalum Capacitors: December Lead Times: 2010

Lead times for tantalum capacitors, DECREASED for a second straight month as net new demand for the hard to find component slackened. Lead times for tantalum capacitors dropped by 10.44% marking the largest month-to-month decline in lead times for tantalum capacitors all year. Lead times for all types of tantalum capacitors regardless of type and configuration (or cathode type) declined. Lead times for molded case A chip and molded case C chip showed the largest drop in lead times for November. The primary end-markets for tantalum capacitors are computers, wireless handsets, video camcorders, digital cameras, automotive subassemblies and specialty electronics.

Figure 1.1 (A)- Lead-Times For TANTALUM (Ta205) CAPACITORS BY Case Size: 2010 (In Weeks}

Source: Paumanok Publications, Inc. All Rights Reserved- Capacitors: World Markets, technologies & Opportunities: 2011-2015 ISBN #0929717023

DC Film Capacitors: December Lead Times: 2010

Lead times for DC Film capacitors DC film capacitors are moving counterintuitive to market conditions are indicative of unusual factors influencing the supply chain. In this instance according to primary sources- it is a materials shortage related to ultra-thin metallized plastic film. The primary end-markets for DC film capacitors are power supplies, lighting ballasts and other line voltage related and specialty electronic equipment. In December we saw an increase in lead times for axial leaded designs, which implies movement in the lighting ballast industry. Snubbers, film chips and radial leaded designs relaxed in overall lead times in December, but remained at historically high levels- especially for snubber type capacitor capacitors used in power and industrial electronic systems.

Figure 1.1 (B)- Lead-Times For DC Film CAPACITORS BY Type: 2010 (In Weeks}

Source: Paumanok Publications, Inc. All Rights Reserved- Capacitors: World Markets, technologies & Opportunities: 2011-2015 ISBN #0929717023

Aluminum Capacitors: December Lead Times: 2010

Lead times for aluminum electrolytic capacitors, remained largely unchanged in December and November, after a substantial decline in October. Lead times for aluminum capacitors show a shift toward large capacitor demand from the power and industrial segment- and a slowdown in demand from the digital electronics segment. Aluminum capacitors have the unique distinction of being consumed in both electronic and electrical circuits, and therefore end product markets include TV sets, stereos, computers, power supplies, line voltage equipment and a variety of specialty end-use markets. In the power electronic side of the equation, aluminum capacitors are critical parts of power transmission and distribution equation and are critical components for use in power inverters. They are also critical components for motor start applications.

Figure 1.1 (C) Lead-Times For Aluminum Electrolytic CAPACITORS BY Type, By Month: 2010

Source: Paumanok Publications, Inc. All Rights Reserved- Capacitors: World Markets, technologies & Opportunities: 2011-2015 ISBN #0929717023

Note the lead time extension for snap-in aluminum and large can aluminum capacitors, leading us to believe that there is increased demand coming from the power and industrial segment of the market in the fourth quarter of CY 2010.

Ceramic Capacitors: December Lead Times 2010

Lead times for ceramic capacitors DECREASED again in December with the noted shift in the high capacitance MLCC, which had been steady all year; but trended downward in December, and the chart below reveals that ceramic capacitor lead-times have eased up steadily since June 2010 (since added capacity came on line in Korea and Japan at that very same time). The one product line- disc ceramic capacitors, which are used in high voltage power applications reveals activity in the power markets that is moving counterintuitive to the general mass markets in consumer electronics (computers, handsets, and TV sets all declining market demand in December continuing the general downward trend in digital electronics that we now expect to last through March 2011).

Note the largest case sizes have had longer lead times. This corresponds with higher CVg ceramic chip capacitors; which we also show as a separate line item in the table above and this indicates that higher CVg ceramic capacitors have much longer lead times when compared to the traditional lower picofarad MLCC. Overall however, the supply chain for ceramic capacitors, even though extended beyond its usual lead time levels of 9 weeks; are more readily available than the other dielectrics.

Specialty Ceramic Capacitors include a combination of unique configurations and types; including array, axial, radial; and application specific types for high voltage and high frequency applications; and is usually a reflection of demand in defense, medical, oilwell, mining and laboratory electronics. Please note that movement in this segment of the market in November and December 2010 suggests positive upward trend in power electronics market segment.

Figure 1.1 (D)- Lead-Times For CERAMIC CAPACITORS BY Case Size and Configuration, By Month: 2010

Source: Paumanok Publications, Inc. All Rights Reserved- Capacitors: World Markets, technologies & Opportunities: 2011-2015 ISBN #0929717023