Similar to RL circuits, an RC circuit consists of a voltage or current  source, a resistor, and a capacitor. Capacitors can be used for energy  storage, high energy discharge, power factor corrections, as well as  coupling and filtering effects. In this discussion we will be  investigating the many practical uses of our capacitors, the dangers to  keep in mind when using them, and how to verify the capacitors are  functioning correctly. 


As our technology develops, we start to build new guidelines for our  components. Changes in the manufacturing of capacitors has developed  rapidly over the last several years and this has resulted in some old  truths and new myths. For instance, the old guideline that instructed  decoupling circuit to have three different capacitor values is no longer  ideal, and small capacitors are not necessarily the best choice for all  high-frequency applications with the advances of the Multi-Layer  Ceramic Capacitors.

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Discussion Prompt: Discuss the following prompts

  • Research and discuss the myth of needing three different capacitor values for decoupling circuits.
  • Research and discuss Equivalent Series Inductance (ESL) values for Multi-Layer Ceramic Capacitors (MLCC).
  1. Why are three different capacitors less ideal for decoupling now when this was not true for older circuits?
  2. What causes a high ESL in a capacitor and how does the MLCC design overcome this barrier?
  3. How is capacitor technology continuing to evolve and what types of engineers are contributing? 
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