STMicroelectronics has unveiled what it is calling the world’s first and only surge protection devices certified to the automotive industry’s preferred specifications. Characterized and certified to the auto industry’s preferred International Organization for Standardization (ISO) pulse specifications, the Miniature Transil surge protection devices provide the expected levels of consumer protection while promising to significantly reduce approval times and design costs for an array of critical vehicle electronics.
For auto makers, this translates into a faster time-to-market with safer and more reliable vehicles. According to STMicroelectronics, designers of automotive electronics systems have routinely been specifying protection devices that meet industrial standards. Although heavy duty and durable, industrial protection devices do not account for the highly variable conditions where automobiles operate. It rarely rains, snows, or sleets on the factory floor, after all.
Automotive surge protection deters potentially damaging voltage pulses resulting from electrostatic discharge (ESD) caused by moving passengers, subsystems like motor drives or climate control turning on and off, or load dumps that occur when a battery is abruptly disconnected. To meet these types of threats, devices that meet the exact criteria of auto-industry specifications not only are the safest bet, they also may be the most cost effective. For example, industrial components may offer some overkill protection features unnecessary in automotive systems that can add to the component’s cost, but fall short on some unique, subtle features that cope with critical conditions in an automotive app.
In addition to satisfying the requirements for certification to automotive-industry pulse specifications, the SM4TY through SM30TY series Transil miniature surge-protection devices are qualified to the AEC-Q101 automotive reliability test standard for discrete semiconductors. They also carry a full Automotive-Grade Approval Certificate, saving the time necessary to research for equivalence between industrial and automotive standards and then re-certifying each emerging subsystem design independently.
Transil devices come in surface-mount power packages that consume from 12.8 mm2 to 46 mm2 worth of printed-circuit board (PCB) space. They can handle power pulses and ESD transients ranging from 400 W to 3 kW. All of the members of the Transil family are tested and certified using ISO 7637 specifications for electrical transients and using ISO 10605 specifications for ESD strike. Plus, all are AEC-Q101 certified and available in unidirectional or bidirectional configurations.
Available in SMA, SMB, or SMC SMT packages, prices range from $0.118 to $0.528 each for unidirectional devices and $0.129 to $0.558 each for bidirectional devices.