Introduction to Electrostatic Discharge Protection
Electrostatic discharge (ESD) is one of the most prevalent threats to the integrity of electronic components and integrated circuits (ICs). It is an event in which a finite amount of charge is transferred from one object. This chapter introduces the fundamentals of ESD, including its mechanisms, standards, protection design principles, and testing. An effective way to protect an electronics system against ESD events is to incorporate an ESD protection structure on the microchip to increase the survivability of the core circuit when an ESD strikes. In such a structure, all input, output, and power supply pins of the core circuit are connected to the ground bus/rail via ESD protection devices. There are a number of technologies for which this on-chip ESD protection is not feasible and using an off-chip ESD protection solution becomes necessary. The off-chip ESD protection structure can be incorporated in electrical cables, in connectors, in ceramic carriers, or on circuit boards.