Optimized Local I/O ESD Protection for SerDes In Advanced SOI, BiCMOS and FinFET Technology

Sofics’ 2021 IEDS publication.
Semiconductor companies are developing ever faster interfaces to satisfy the need for higher data throughputs. However, the parasitic capacitance of the traditional ESD solutions limits the signal frequency. This paper demonstrates low-cap Analog I/Os for high speed SerDes (28Gbps to 112Gbps) circuits created in advanced BiCMOS, SOI and FinFET nodes.

Protection of CMOS output drivers

Every computer chip needs on-chip ESD protection at its interfaces. Integrated circuits have different kinds of interfaces. This article discusses approaches to protect output drivers. This article compares different options for output drivers, focused on the NMOS transistor because that is the most sensitive part and is easily damaged during ESD stress.

ESD protection for SOI technology

SOI technology introduces several challenges for the ESD designer. This article provided more background and example data on these issues. Fortunately, there are several ways to overcome those challenges. Sofics has supported IC companies with novel ESD concepts that improve IC performance and increase the ESD robustness.

CDM robustness of SCR protection devices

We often get the question: what is the CDM robustness of your ESD protection circuit? Though the question is clear, it is very hard to formulate a meaningful answer. CDM qualifies the performance of an IC or die in a specific package. Nevertheless, one expects an answer for the ESD circuit expressed in Volts.

This article discusses how VF-TLP analysis can be used to assess the CDM current capability of ESD devices.

Adapting Diode triggered SCRs (part 2)

In this article, I wish to introduce you to how we can use diode triggered silicon controlled rectifiers (DTSCRs) for on-chip ESD protection. I will explain how its 3 main parameters – trigger voltage, holding voltage and failure current – can be tuned in order to protect ICs with very different characteristics.

Diode triggered SCRs for ESD protection in CMOS ICs (part 1)

A specific case of an SCR-based solution which can be used to develop a wide range of on-chip ESD protection circuits is the diode triggered SCR (DTSCR). As its name implies, a DTSCR is constructed by combining an SCR with diodes to form a versatile circuit whose properties can be tuned at will to suit the requirements of the IC/interface which needs to be protected.

Solving the problems with traditional Silicon Controlled Rectifier (SCR) approaches for ESD

Sofics’ 2008 RCJ publication.

The Silicon Controlled Rectifier (‘SCR’) is widely used for ESD protection due to its superior performance and clamping capabilities. However, many believe that SCR based ESD protection is prone to latch-up, competitive triggering, long development cycles and slow trigger speed. This paper provides an overview of the problems and corresponding design solutions available.