MLCCs by the Numbers


The beginning of Q4 has shown that the lingering MLCC shortage is still widely felt throughout the supply chain. Manufacturer price increases on MLCCs have not slowed down demand from OEMs as supply continues to remain tight. The number of MLCCs required for electronic products across all industries has forced this shortage to continue.

“MLCCs are integral components for most consumer, automotive, and industrial electronics. It is almost impossible to build any electronic product without them at this point,” said Michael Welch, Smith’s Global IC Commodity Manager.

Mobile devices, laptops, and other products in the consumer electronics industry absorb the majority of MLCC capacity. But niche industries like telecommunications also demand a sizeable amount of MLCCs per product. Set-top boxes depend on approximately 215 MLCCs on the low-end side and 664 MLCCs on the high-end. The number of MLCCs needed for this specific product within the scope of a single industry showcases the steep demand of this component and corresponding lack of supply.

“These components have remarkable increases in capacitances, and they have developed at a rate that far exceeds other passive components,” continued Welch.

Due to their peak performance capabilities, MLCCs are overall highly sought-after components. In the specialized and precise automotive industry, this commodity is vital. As vehicle systems and cars become more thoroughly equipped with diverse technologies, additional MLCCs are needed to enable these expanded functionalities.

Looking for a specific MLCC? We’ll help you find it.

“Even though some MLCC manufacturers in Japan have shifted their focus to automotive applications, this specific MLCC grade is in especially high demand when taking into account the number needed for vehicles in this sector,” said Kent Pang, Smith’s Vice President, Asia.

The required number ranges from approximately 3,000 MLCCs for a gas-fueled vehicle to approximately 18,000 MLCCs for an electric-powered vehicle. The automotive industry requires a special grade of MLCCs that meet capacitance and resistance requirements, which are only produced by certain manufacturers.

“The number of MLCCs used in products will continue to grow as more and more electronics are being consumed, plus the relative short lifespan of those electronic devices will continue to drive up demand over time,” continued Welch.

Contact your Smith sales representative or visit to purchase MLCCs from the millions we currently have in stock.

Keep up with Smith’s Market Blog and our Twitter (@smithweb) for more industry news and analysis.