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Discrete components optimize medical equipment performance and reliability.

Medical electronics applications require components that are smaller, more robust, and highly versatile, particularly as medical equipment becomes increasingly portable. Because medical systems often use discrete electronic components in their circuit designs, passive components are critical to optimizing performance and reliability. Passive components are often employed in medical equipment for high voltage and high power management, as well as precision current sensing and current limiting, and there are a number of package types and specifications to consider for optimal performance in medical equipment.


High Voltage and High Power Medical Applications

Medical imaging applications, including x-ray machines, ultrasound equipment, and MRI equipment, as well as defibrillators, often require high voltage power supplies, which incorporate a number of discrete components. As such, voltage specifications for some equipment can reach several thousand Volts, while still requiring components that occupy limited real estate.


Component designers develop small, high voltage products by employing a long conductive path to reduce voltage and stress within the component. Chip resistors that reach 3000 V in a standard 2512 package are being used in medical equipment today. This voltage rating can go even higher if the resistor is potted or otherwise encapsulated to be kept from arcing. As a comparison, a typical voltage rating for a 1206 component is around 400 V, but for chip resistors of that size designed for medical equipment, that rating is often in the range of 1000 V.

By Steve Wade, TT electronics plc,

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Title Annotation:Hardware Corner
Author:Wade, Steve
Publication:ECN-Electronic Component News
Date:May 1, 2010
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