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TA0324
TECHNICAL ARTICLE
ESD protection improvement in cellular handsets
1
Need for ESD protection
As the wireless market continues to evolve, the next mobile phone generation requires
increased functionality with new features like cameras, storage memory cards, FM radio, etc…
To integrate such functions, the up-coming chipset generations must use the most advanced
and thinnest lithographic technologies. As a result, ESD phenomena is getting more prominent
for new circuit generation and is still considered as a major problem in high integration
electronic systems.
As shown in Figure 1, an ESD event can easily destroy an IC in several ways, resulting in one
or more of these attributes: junction leakage, short circuits, or burn-out, dielectric rupture,
resistor-metal interface rupture, resistor/metal fusing, etc…
Figure 1.
ESD discharge effect on silicon
Oxide fusing point
Metallic junction damage
Metallization damage
These are the reasons why current IC suppliers still recommend designing ESD protection
devices to protect main chipsets. However, mainly driven by compact design trend, the
implementation of external ESD protection will pose several challenges. Basically designers
require a device with the highest level of ESD protection in the smallest possible size. At the
same time the protection device must not effect digital and analog signal quality.
STMicroelectronics is introducing a new high performance protection solution of micro
packaged ESD diodes, designed for single line or dual line protection of voltage sensitive
electronic system.
December 2005
Rev 1
1/8
www.st.com
8
TA0324
2 Dual clamping feature
2
Dual clamping feature
While current single line protection uses one diode to suppress ESD discharge, the dual
clamping concept consists of two parallel diodes in the same package.
Figure 2.
Dual clamping diode concept versus single ESD protection
Single
clamping
stage
Dual
clamping
stage
I/O 2
I/O 1
IC
IC
G ND
Figure 2 shows the internal structure of the dual clamping concept consists of two
unidirectional diodes diffused at the same time in silicon. In comparison with current topology
using single ESD diode, the dual clamping voltage solution allows better protection from ESD
discharge.
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3
3 Improved ESD protection
Improved ESD protection
This innovative dual clamping feature can bring much better ESD immunity compared to all
current single ESD protection diodes. When an ESD discharge is applied at the input of the
device, two clamping stages ensure minimal remaining output voltage value across the IC.
Figure 3 shows an evaluation of the remaining output voltage value when an ESD discharge is
applied on single diode topology.
Figure 3.
Output voltage when surge applied to single diode topology
ESD surge
I1
Vout1
IC
I1 ˜ 45A (15000/330)
Vout = Vbr + Rd1. I1 = Vbr + 45V
with Rd1=1Ω and Vbr =6V
Vout1 = 51V
Using single diode ESD topology, the IC, which has to be protected against ESD discharge, is
exposed to Vout1 (remaining output voltage) around 50 Volts for a short period. Dual clamping
topology will bring much more ESD protection under the same test condition.
Figure 4.
Output voltage when surge applied to dual clamping topology
ESD surge
Isurge
I/O 1
I/O 2
I1
I2
G ND
Vout2
IC
Isurge ˜ 45A (15000/330)
I1 ˜ Isurge/2 = 22.5A
I2 ˜ Isurge/2 = 22.5A
Vout2 = Vbr + Rd1. I1 = Vbr + Rd 2 . I2
with Rd1=Rd2=1Ω and Vbr =6V
Vout2 = 28.5V
The evaluation in Figure 4 shows that with two parallel diodes, the remaining output voltage is
reduced by 45% compared to the single diode ESD protection solution. In this case, the value
of Vout is 28 Volts instead of 51 Volts.
The lowest remaining voltage value reduces ESD damage risks, limits energy levels through
the core chipset and also avoids any uncontrolled latch up effect.
This kind of topology can be used instead of multi-layer varistor solutions, while maintaining the
small-size advantage. In this case, the maximum clamping voltage is reduced by at least 50%
compared to varistor solutions while still providing a superior protection level.
Another advantage offered by a silicon solution is the protection reliability. This solution can
withstand multiple ESD strikes without any shift in electrical characteristics.
In conclusion, this topology is one of the best ESD protection solutions that complies with the
most severe level of IEC61000-4-2 standard (level 4, 15Kv air discharge).
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4 PCB space minimization
4
PCB space minimization
In comparison with the current single ESD diode protection packed in SOD523, this new highly
integrated design in SOT883 provides up to 60% board space savings.
Figure 5 below compares the main package dimensions of SOD523 and SOT883. Besides the
more efficient ESD protection using the dual diode concept in SOT883, designers have the
added benefit of saving space on the PCB.
Figure 5.
The new SOT883 saves 60% of space compared to the current SOD523
0.8 mm
0.6 mm
I/O1
1.0 mm
1.6 mm
1.53 mm²
SOD523
I/O2
GND
0.60 mm²
SOT883
The line integration ratio (PCB space/number of lines) of around 0.3 mm2 per line for the
SOT883, is even smaller than 0402 SMD package or the famous SOD523. No other solutions
in the current market can provide better integration performance.
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5
5 High speed data compatibility
High speed data compatibility
To avoid disruption of the analog or digital signals, the ESD protection has to be optimized for
line capacitance value. In the case of the SOT883 solution, even if the total line capacitance of
the device is the sum of the two parallel diode capacitances, the value is still one of the smallest
available in the market with 24 pF at 0 Volt. That is, 12 pF per diode.
This results in extremely low impact on the rise and fall times of the signal and no delays.
Figure 6.
40Mhz data transmission test using high and low cap ESD protections
3.0V
2.0V
H ighESD
C approtection
filter
High Cap
1.0V
Low CCap
ESD
Low
ap fi
lter protection
0V
500ns
V(R26:1)
505ns
V(L9:2)
V(C7:1)
510ns
515ns
520ns
525ns
528ns
Time
Figure 6 presents a 3,0 Volts signal transmission test at 40 Mhz through a low capacitance ESD
protection structure in comparison with a higher capacitance structure. It can be seen that the
high capacitance structure has a delay time of 5 to 6 times longer than the low cap structure. In
the case of the high capacitance structure, the signal output voltage might not be received
correctly.
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6 DESIGN FLEXIBILITY
6
DESIGN FLEXIBILITY
The dual line configuration in the SOT883 package can be used for three different protection
topologies: as single, or dual line ESD unidirectional protection, or single line ESD bidirectional
protection.
Figure 7.
Protection topologies
Connector
I/O 4
I/O 3
I/O 2
I/O 1
IC
to be
protected
GND
GND
1 line bi-directional
GND
1 line double ESD protection
2 line protection
In addition to the space saving benefit and excellent ESD performance, the use of the SOT883
also optimizes the BOM count.
7
Conclusion
The new STM dual clamping ESD protection concept in SOT883 is the best alternative. It
ensures high ESD protection while providing space reduction benefits and design flexibility. In
addition, the low capacitance silicon structure can be used for all interfaces, even for high
speed signals without any risk of signal perturbation. For more information, please visit
www.st.com website.
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8 Revision history
Revision history
Date
Revision
01-Dec-2005
1
Changes
Initial release.
7/8
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8 Revision history
Information furnished is believed to be accurate and reliable. However, STMicroelectronics assumes no responsibility for the consequences
of use of such information nor for any infringement of patents or other rights of third parties which may result from its use. No license is granted
by implication or otherwise under any patent or patent rights of STMicroelectronics. Specifications mentioned in this publication are subject
to change without notice. This publication supersedes and replaces all information previously supplied. STMicroelectronics products are not
authorized for use as critical components in life support devices or systems without express written approval of STMicroelectronics.
The ST logo is a registered trademark of STMicroelectronics.
All other names are the property of their respective owners
© 2005 STMicroelectronics - All rights reserved
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