Taiwanese sources confirmed that as many as eleven manufacturers of low-ESR aluminum capacitors in Taiwan might have been using a poor-quality electrolyte in the capacitors. Reports first started to surface in September among "brand-name" computer manufacturers that there were problems with low-ESR aluminum capacitors produced in Taiwan.
These reports suggest a poor-quality, water-based electrolyte had been supplied to multiple manufacturers of low-ESR aluminum electrolytic capacitors in Taiwan.
The electrolyte, is a Taiwanese version of the Japanese P-50 water-based type, but produced without the proper additives required to stave off excess hydrogen gassing, according to Dennis Zogbi, owner of the Paumanok Group . "Consequently," writes Zogbi, "aluminum capacitors produced with the P-50 knock-off tend to fail catastrophically, by blowing open the rubber seal and leaking liquid electrolyte on the printed circuit board. These failures reportedly occur at half the rated lifetime of the components."
It is not currently known how many market segments may have been affected by these poor parts, which can be found in motherboards, switchmode power supplies, modems and other PC boards.
The failures of the aluminum capacitors might just be the 'tip of the iceberg,' says Zogbi. "Other component failures from low-cost Asian suppliers might be forthcoming," he warns.
Around 30 per cent of the world's supply of aluminum capacitors is manufactured in Taiwan, according to the Paumanok Group. Confusion over which manufacturers may have used the faulty electrolyte is sending buyers back to Japan to source their capacitors.
The extent of the problem in product that has already shipped won't become clear until components start failing, which may not happen until halfway through the products' lfe expectancy. µ
Handset will set gaming nerds back £799
And some have yet to be fully mitigated
The 7nm chip promises to be a powerhouse
Mozilla's Monitor 2.0 is adding notifications for website breaches