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A Comparison Study of Input ESD Protection Schemes Utilizing NMOS, Thyristor, and Diode Devices

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DOI: 10.4236/cn.2010.21002    7,356 Downloads   12,685 Views   Citations
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ABSTRACT

For three fundamental input-protection schemes suitable for high-frequency CMOS ICs, which utilize protection devices such as NMOS transistors, thyristors, and diodes, we attempt an in-depth comparison on HBM ESD robustness in terms of lattice heating inside protection devices and peak voltages developed across gate oxides in input buffers, based on DC, mixed-mode transient, and AC analyses utilizing a 2-dimensional device simulator. For this purpose, we construct an equivalent circuit model of input HBM test environments for CMOS chips equipped with input ESD protection circuits, which allows mixed-mode transient simulations for various HBM test modes. By executing mixed-mode simulations including up to six active protection devices in a circuit, we attempt a detailed analysis on the problems, which can occur in real tests. In the procedure, we suggest to a recipe to ease the bipolar trigger in the protection devices and figure out that oxide failure in internal circuits is determined by the peak voltage developed in the later stage of discharge, which corresponds to the junction breakdown voltage of the NMOS structure residing in the protection devices. We explain strength and weakness of each protection scheme as an input ESD protection circuit for high-frequency ICs, and suggest valuable guidelines relating design of the protection devices and circuits.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

J. Choi, "A Comparison Study of Input ESD Protection Schemes Utilizing NMOS, Thyristor, and Diode Devices," Communications and Network, Vol. 2 No. 1, 2010, pp. 11-25. doi: 10.4236/cn.2010.21002.

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