Hosted by Alix Paultre, the Tinker's Toolbox is the Advantage Design Group's web-based interview show where we talk about the latest technology, components, and design issues for the electronic design engineering community.
In today's podcast we talk to Ron Demko of AVX (www.avx.com ) about the state of passive devices and their importance to the performance of any design. The impact passives have on a circuit can make the difference between a successful product and a poorly-recieved one, as the processor and other core devices cannot do their jobs well if the passives aren't doing theirs.
Here is a link to the podcast in case the playback button is inoperative: Ron Demko Interview 
Here is a recent press release from the company:
AVX Corporation, a leading manufacturer of advanced passive components and interconnect solutions, is proud to announce that as of December 1st 2011, all its current tantalum powder and wire suppliers are fully compliant with the independently-audited Conflict-Free Smelter Program (CFS). Going forward, AVX will exclusively use tantalum powder and wire from conflict-free compliant smelters.
As the leading supplier of tantalum capacitors, AVX is the first in the industry to reach this point, another major step forward in its ability to provide verifiable assurance to its customers that all AVX products contain only conflict-free tantalum, in accordance with the principles of the Dodd-Frank legislation and current OECD guidelines. OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Mineral Supply Chains from Conflict-affected and High-risk Areas is for use by any company potentially sourcing minerals or metals from conflict-affected areas of weak governance and provides management recommendations to help companies respect human rights and avoid contributing to conflict through their mineral or metal purchasing decisions and practices.
This advance is another step forward in AVX’s continuing efforts to keep conflict minerals out of the supply chain. For the past ten years, the company has had a policy of not using tantalum sourced from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) or any other area in which insurgents or similar groups benefit from the sale of minerals. From 2007 onwards, AVX increased the level of due diligence and improved its ability to comply with this policy and since 2009, AVX has actively participated in the industry-wide effort to eliminate “conflict minerals” from the supply chain through the CFS program. The company will continue this role of leading by example by working with multiple stakeholder partners, including major electronics companies such as Motorola Solutions, HP and Intel, in the Solutions for Hope pilot program.
Solutions for Hope demonstrates that verifiably conflict-free tantalum material can be mined and shipped from the DRC to the benefit of the local population, who are suffering as a result of the de-facto ban on such minerals resulting from the Dodd-Frank legislation in the USA. Based on a closed-pipe supply chain that operates in accordance with the OECD due diligence guidance for responsible sourcing from areas of weak governance, Solutions for Hope incorporates the independently-validated Conflict-Free Smelter (CFS) program. The pilot initiative will be evaluated to prove that the closed supply chain is reliable, sustainable and expandable, and will allow the DRC to return as a supplier of responsibly-sourced minerals to the tantalum industry.
For further information on this project, please contact Bill Millman at AVX: +44 (0) 1803 697211 or visit firstname.lastname@example.org 
For further information on Solutions for Hope, please visit: http://solutions-network.org/site-solutionsforhope/