The chart below shows the nature of the bottleneck in the MLCC supply chain and shows first how MLCC far exceed other dielectrics capabilities in creating capacitance in a very small case size. Tantalum comes very close and is therefore also benefiting from the short supply scenario in high cap MLCC.
Some customers of MLCC, especially in consumer AV, lighting, power supply, industrial and some traditional ICE automotive lines are reviewing the table to determine if they can create alternative reference designs that limit the exposure to high cap ceramics, especially in areas where competition is limited.
The drivers behind the market are in handsets and portable computing. Automotive is only getting attention for new applications in electric vehicles. Traditional ICE manufacturers are losing support for UTH applications where profitability is difficult due to demanding requirements, exposure to precious metals.
Complex solutions in TV sets, home automation, home appliance and especially for home monitor (Amazon Echo Dot- large brands new to high-tech black box markets; consuming huge amounts of MLCC; video cards for crypto-currency trading consuming power hungry application specific integrated circuits and related support MLCC) must pay large premiums for parts against handsets.
Who is Getting MLCC Support?
The market supply of multi-layer ceramic capacitors, particularly those for mass-market notebooks and smartphones, has been tight.
Although smartphone sales volume has been leveling off, the number of multilayer ceramic capacitors (MLCCs) used in each handset has been growing. Apple's iPhone 7, which was released in 2016, has some 900 of the capacitors and 2017 models contain more than 1,000 MLCCs.