John Cooley, President and COO
In the hierarchy of computer storage, the solid state drive is the lightning fast counterpart to the traditional hard drive. The main functionality of solid state drives is their power loss protection feature where a group of yellow tantalum capacitors store sufficient energy to power the solid state drive long enough for it to move the data from RAM or cache memory to flash memory. The group of tantalum capacitors fills as much as 30 percent of a solid state drive’s circuit board, and as these solid state hard drives are relatively expensive, manufacturers always try to fit more memory on them. But the space constraints inside laptops or other computing devices limits their ability to increase the amount of memory in a solid state drive as the tantalum capacitors require more space. Circuit boards that have a high number of yellow tantalum capacitors, have 20 or 30 potential failure points because of which they tend to short circuit and catch fire, which poses a major problem within data centers and laptops.
The best bet here would be to replace the yellow capacitors of the solid state drive with ultracapacitors that require less board space. However, no ultracapacitor to this day has been able to survive the solder reflow process, which exposes the circuit and its components to very high temperature.
That was until Nanoramic Laboratories’ ultracapacitor division, FastCAP Ultracapacitors, developed the reflowable, slim-profile, low ESR Chip Ultracapacitor. Also called the FastCAP SD85-500 Chip Ultracapacitor, it is the first ultracapacitor that can be incorporated into high volume manufactured electronic assemblies because it can survive the reflow process.
“What’s even more compelling is that our solution is the same cost or price point but in a much smaller footprint and with higher energy than the tantalum capacitor,” says John Cooley, President and COO of Nanoramic Laboratories. With Nanoramic Labs’ FastCAP Chip Ultracapacitors, the large number of tantalum capacitors can be reduced to a few, freeing up all of the board space and eliminating potential failure points.
The solid state drives of computers are just one among the wealth of applications for Nanoramic Labs’ Chip Ultracapacitors. They are ideal for wherever an electronic system that is manufactured in high volume needs some onboard energy storage, such as automotive applications that need power resilience, distributed redundancy, or backup power around the system. The Chip Ultracapacitors can also serve as pulse power buffers for telemetry systems or transmitters, like 5G transceivers, for electric and autonomous vehicles, and even in Internet of things where there is a general need for onboard energy storage.
Some of the secondary benefits of the FastCAP Chip Ultracapacitor are that it’s hermetically sealed and low profile. These features can be important in medical devices that might be exposed to the outside environment, or are space constrained and need energy storage onboard of an electronic system. The low profile feature and reliability are advantageous to the aerospace and defense industries as well.
For customers interested in the FastCAP Chip Ultracapacitor technology, Nanoramic Labs would quickly get samples ready for evaluation and then work with them on the production scale-up plans. Nanoramic Labs has a global presence backed by staff for technical and business developments. They are in the process of scaling up their manufacturing capacity in-house in the second half of this year. The plan is to also engage with capacitor manufacturers as potential licensees of the technology to scale up further.
The FastCAP Chip Ultracapacitor is just one of several energy storage and advanced material products that Nanoramic Labs has commercialized. The future outlook for the company looks promising as the engineers at Nanoramic Labs continue to innovate in the energy storage and advanced material space.