ESD Protection Structure Design & Prototyping, Measurement & Modeling

Partner Call open until: 20.04.2021

Start of the project: Q2 2021


Enabling simulation-based optimization of ESD protection structures for high-speed data interfaces, such as Thunderbolt and USB4.

Modern high-speed interfaces such as Thunderbolt and USB4 can achieve data rates of up to 40 Gbit/s and supply devices with up to 100 W. High data rates of are convenient for users but imply enormous challenges for design and test of respective electronics. In addition, device connectors are constantly exposed to the risk of electrostatic discharge (ESD) events. To prevent non-revocable damage of the interface circuitry, ESD protection structures are needed. Scope of this project is to enable manufacture and evaluate prototypes of transient voltage suppressor diodes (TVS) and optimize protection topologies by simulation-based design of ESD protection structures. Therefore, thoroughly validated broadband circuit simulation models of all critical circuit components will be provided. The models developed within this project will enable users to simulate and design ESD protection structures for their individual applications. The high frequency of up to 30 GHz poses special challenges for test and simulation setups as well as the utilized measurement techniques. The developed component models will be validated by various standardized test procedures, e.g.:

  • transmission line pulse (TLP) measurements
  • ESD gun tests according to e.g. IEC 61000-4-2
  • time-domain eye diagram measurement

Expected results

  • Development and prototyping of TVS diodes.
  • Measurement and simulation-based design flow to develop ESD protection structures for high-speed digital interfaces following system-efficient ESD design (SEED) methodology.
  • Component models to enable time- and frequency-domain simulation of ESD protection structures.
  • Prototype protection structures derived from SEED, characterized and validated with measurements.