Capacitor plague-History-First announcements-PCB

- Feb 10, 2017-

Capacitor plague-History-First

announcements-PCB

Capacitor plague

The capacitor plague was a problem related to a higher-than-expected failure rate of non-solid aluminum electrolytic capacitors, between 1999 and 2007, especially those from some Taiwanese manufacturers, due to faulty electrolyte composition that caused corrosion accompanied by gas generation, often rupturing the case of the capacitor from the build-up of pressure.

High failure rates occurred in many well-known brands of electronics, and was particularly evident in motherboards, video cards, and power supplies of personal computers, leading to premature failure of these devices.

History

First announcements

Faulty capacitors have been a problem since capacitors' initial development, but the first flawed capacitors linked to Taiwanese raw material problems were reported by the specialist magazine Passive Component Industry in September 2002. Shortly thereafter, two mainstream electronics journals reported the discovery of widespread prematurely failing capacitors, from Taiwanese manufacturers, in motherboards.

These publications informed engineers and other technically interested specialists, but did not give the issue wider public exposure. That changed when Carey Holzman published his experiences about "leaking capacitors" in the overclocking performance community.


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