All semiconductor integrated circuits (ICs) use some form of internal Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) protection. In recent years Semiconductor Controlled Rectifier (SCR) ESD protection circuits have become widely accepted by most IC manufacturers. This is because the SCR may be designed without sensitive thin oxide transistors in the main current discharge path. The patent provides SCR protection with the ability to separately program trigger and holding voltages. This provides high failure thresholds suitable for a variety of IC applications with minimal input capacitance.
Primary Application of the Technology
Integrated circuit manufacturers
The Problem Solved by the Technology
The trigger and holding voltages of the SCR are separately programmable. This means the SCR trigger voltage may be set slightly above the maximum voltage an integrated circuit will encounter in normal operation to avoid high voltage levels before the SCR is activated. The holding voltage may be adjusted to a value slightly above the power supply voltage, so the SCR will not remain latched if it is triggered while the integrated circuit is powered up.
How the Technology Solves the Problem
The trigger and holding voltages of the SCR are separately programmable by design parameters of the SCR. No external circuits are required to separately trigger the SCR. The SCR holding voltage is separately adjusted by an internal base-emitter transistor shunt.
The trigger and holding voltages of the SCR are separately programmable. Other technology solutions do not separately adjust the trigger voltage and holding voltage of the SCR.
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U.S. Patent Classes & Classifications Covered in this listing:
Class 257: Active Solid-State Devices (E.G., Transistors, Solid-State Diodes)
This class provides for active solid-state electronic devices, that is, electronic devices or components that are made up primarily of solid materials, usually semiconductors, which operate by the movement of charge carriers - electrons or holes - which undergo energy level changes within the material and can modify an input voltage to achieve rectification, amplification, or switching action, and are not classified elsewhere.
Subclass 173: Device protection (e.g., from overvoltage) Subclass 355: With overvoltage protective means