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The Feature Creep

Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 1055

The Capacitor Who Loved Me

08/01/2005 5:20 PM

At the center of a whirlwind tale of espionage including multi-national corporations and high tech failure lies an unusual protagonist; the humble capacitor.

It turns out that a scientist stole an incomplete formula for a new electrolytic compound, which lead to the early demise of untold numbers of motherboards.

According to Dennis Zogbi, publisher of Passive Component Industry:
"The capacitors made from the formula become unstable when charged, generating hydrogen gas, bursting, and letting the electrolyte leak onto the circuit board. Zogbi cites tests by Japanese manufacturers that indicate the capacitor's lifetimes are half or less of the 4000 hours of continuous ripple current they are rated for."

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