Fabless semiconductor companies usually use third-party IP blocks when developing ICs. An important IP is on-chip ESD protection. Caution must be exercised in choosing the right ESD IP to avoid patent infringement and inefficient ESD clamps.
Thomas Ako made a presentation about the IP selection process on the 2021 IP-SOC event in Grenoble in December 2021.
For many years, IC designers coult count on the snapback behaviour of the ggNMOS device for ESD protection in mature CMOS nodes (180nm and below).
However, for more advanced CMOS, FinFET, SOI and high voltage processes there are serious drawbacks.
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.