The role of capacitors in modern electronics ranges from filtering out unwanted signals and delaying voltage fluctuations, to storing electric charges. The dielectric material used in capacitors is the workhorse upon which their specific application in an electronic circuit is decided. Silicon is gaining immense popularity as a capacitor dielectric material, owing to its high temperature stability and low failure rates, in various electronic devices.

High-density capacitors with silicon-based dielectrics, such as silicon nitride and silicon dioxide, are witnessing high demand across broad-ranging industrial applications, underlining the positive prospects of the silicon capacitors market.

In addition, a mounting number of end-use industries have identified their potential in the miniaturization of electronic devices, and this has opened up new avenues of growth for silicon capacitors in diverse applications. A new study published by Transparency Market Research (TMR) dives deep into the changing business strategies of the leading manufacturers and distributors in this market, to divulge winning imperatives for stakeholders and investors in the silicon capacitors landscape.

Silicon Capacitors Market Strategy

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Silicon Capacitors to Get their Second Wind from the Multi-layer Ceramic Capacitor Shortage

Silicon capacitors hitherto have witnessed strong competition from multi-layer ceramic chip capacitors (MLCCs), especially in high-frequency applications. A rise of nearly 8% was recorded in the global sales of silicon capacitors; sales increased from around 1.6 billion units in 2017 to over 1.7 billion units in 2018. However, end-use industries are in a dither with a worldwide shortage of MLCCs, as they are an essential component in most electronic devices.

The underlying causes of MLCC shortage include the cost-down pressure on the production of large case size components. Another factor that is exacerbating the shortage is the limited number of companies that manufacture MLCCs, and though they are expanding their production capacities, this will only provide near-term relief, and not suffice the needs of tomorrow. The gap between supply and demand for MLCCs will only widen in the coming years, and this will reflect in an unprecedented rise in their lead times and prices as time goes by.

Eventually, manufacturers are likely to focus their upcoming strategies on smaller case sizes to capitalize on the growth of high-reliability end-use industries such as healthcare and automotive. Not only manufacturers, end users will also shift to cheaper and thinner-layer alternatives of MLCCs, i.e. silicon capacitors. With the increasing possibility of silicon capacitors replacing MLCCs, their global sales are likely to increase by over 8.5% in 2019, surpassing a market valuation of US$ 1.6 billion.

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Immense Potential for Miniaturization Triggers Scope in Versatile Applications

As the electronics industry is converging with a broad range of other industrial verticals, such as automotive, healthcare, and telecommunication, the miniaturization trend is becoming ubiquitous. The growing penetration of miniaturized electronic devices is expected to create high demand for capacitors with thinner dielectric film than ever, which is likely to rapidly multiply the sales of silicon capacitors in the coming years.

The market for miniaturized electronic devices is growing by leaps and bounds, and this is generating tremendous sales potential for silicon capacitors in a wide range of end-use industries, especially in the telecommunication industry. Nearly 4 out of the 10 silicon capacitors sold across the world are used in telecommunication devices.

The demand for miniaturized, thin-film transmission lines with high RF (radio frequency) performance has reached new heights, and thereby, the telecommunication industry is expected to account for a significant revenue share of the silicon capacitors market in the coming years.

The miniaturization trend has also spread across the healthcare sector, and advanced medical technologies are being incorporated to make implantable devices even smaller. Recent trends in the medical implantable electronics landscape are creating new growth avenues for the manufacturers of medical-grade silicon capacitors in the healthcare sector.

In 2018, at least one out of the three silicon capacitors that entered the market was used in medical devices and other healthcare applications, and this trend is likely to grow stronger in the coming decade.

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