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I know a lot of people have been looking at some of the more stable businesses like Kemet, who is the dominant leader in tantalum capacitors (and has great management). But what happens when their competitor Vishay comes out with a workable patented niobium based capacitor that can replace tantalum?

I've bought into both companies in the past - both are good well run enterprises. Vishay produces an amazing array of quality products. They are on the peripheral of mainstream electronics components and they don't seem to have the extreme volatility that the mainstream ones have.
I was also interested to read of a new tantalum finding in Oz recently - tantalum is not a common element and the companies that use the stuff usually have long term contracts to ensure continuity of supply.
I'm not sure of what effect this new Oz mine will have on the rest of the world supply. Interesting to watch what happens !!
Another three companies along the lines of these two are CATS - small cap company - cash rich (last time I looked they had around 24 million sitting in the bank) - produces innovative non-volatile memory devices - just breaking into the auto market which is a big user of these things.
VIRL - another similar small cap company - manufactures small memory chips that (from memory) are integrated with other electronic components - ie completely bonded with no actual physical links between them. KEI is a long time manufacturer of precision electronic instruments - multimeters etc - great company - should be on the comeback trail when the economy turns round.
There are some great companies in the US similar to these three with solid earnings (normally) well worth looking at.

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