This live chat session will discuss circuit protection solutions for ESD. This is the second of three tech briefs before the Ask the Experts session.
- Over-voltage conditions are very common. They are usually caused by lightning strikes, ESD, a sudden load reduction, switching of transient loads, or a failure of the control equipment. ESD is especially common in consumer electronics applications — the everyday technologies we depend on to function. Many of the chipsets used in modern consumer electronics are developed in state-of-the-art technologies well below 130nm. Typical applications include USB 2.0, USB 3.0, and HDMI ports on set-top boxes, Blu-ray players, LCD TVs, digital cameras, desktop PCs, smartphones, tablets, and ultrabooks/notebooks.
- Over-voltage conditions are dangerous. Over-voltages can damage the sensitive chipsets on high-speed data lines. Because today’s consumer electronics are becoming smaller and smaller, the sensitivity of the electronics and chipsets within these devices is increasing. The more sensitive the chipset, the easier it is to become damaged by ESD. Since these technologies have a minimal tolerance to DC voltages that are over 3.3V, an ESD pulse can be catastrophic for such a device. If the ESD device does not provide enough protection, the chipset could experience premature failure.
- Over-voltage conditions are easy to protect against. Why? Because their effects are well-known. Also, because it’s more convenient and cheaper to incorporate over-voltage protection devices during the design phase — before the product has been developed and tested, and before any damage has been caused by ESD. Which circuit protection (CP) products are ideal for over-voltage protection, especially ESD? Choose semiconductor products that offer the second or third line of defense against ESD. Although these are also board-level components, they are designed to protect the microprocessor chipsets on the board by suppressing ESD and other transients at the point of entry.
Two examples of components that protect highly sensitive chipsets are:
- TVS diodes: These devices protect electronic circuits against transients and overvoltage threats such as ESD. They are silicon avalanche devices selected for their fast response time (low clamping voltage), range of breakdown voltages, and low leakage current.
- TVS diode arrays: These devices protect electronics from very fast and often damaging voltage transients, including lightning and ESD. TVS diode arrays offer a high level of protection (up to 30kV per IEC 61000-4-2) with very low capacitance, leakage current, and clamping voltage. They offer an ideal protection solution for I/O interfaces and digital/analog signal lines in the computer and portable consumer electronics markets.
Ready to learn more about the importance of circuit protection? Have a question or two about choosing the right over-voltage protection solutions for your next design?
Join us for the Planet Analog Chat Session on Circuit Protection, September 24, 20014, 1:00 p.m. ET (10:00 a.m. PT).
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