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Electronic Design

What's New In ESD Protection Devices

Obviously, electrostatic discharge (ESD) is one of many critical considerations in almost every design project. Equally obvious is the fact that there is no shortage of solutions to keep ESD at bay.

Maxim Integrated Products describes its MAX4895E as the industry’s smallest VGA-port protector (Fig. 1). In addition to ESD protection on all seven of its video outputs, the 3- by 3-mm, 16-pin thin quad flat no-lead (TQFN) device integrates HSYNC/VSYNC levelshifting buffers to ensure full compatibility with VESA VSIS specifications. This level of integration eliminates the need for multiple analog and passive components common to discrete topologies.

Via two NMOS devices, the MAX4895E also provides I2C level shifting. Other features include video outputs characterized for ±15-kV (Human Body Model) and ±8-kV (IEC 61000-4-2 contact discharge) ESD protection, a maximum capacitance of 3 pF on the RGB terminals, maximum quiescent current of 5 µA, operation from a single 5-V supply, and an operating temperature range from –40°C to 85°C. A datasheet for the MAX4895E is available at Pricing starts at $0.68 each/1000.

Targeting a wide range of markets from embedded systems and industrial computing to consumer electronics, California Micro Devices offers a variety of ESD-thwarting devices. Flying under the XtremeESD family banner, PicoGuard XP devices provide what the company claims is the highest level of protection available for highspeed ICs, such as USB, where traditional single- clamp architectures are no longer effective.

Also, California Micro Devices says its Pico- Guard XS devices deliver the industry’s best signal integrity with greater ESD protection for extreme high-speed data interfaces. They integrate low-capacitance diodes with inductors to enable high-frequency ESD protection and provide matching impedance without requiring external compensation.

In addition to providing electromagnetic interference (EMI) filtering via spiral inductors with capacitors, the company’s Praetorian III devices integrate ESD-protection diodes in a single package. The chips’ unique coupled inductor design enables high levels of inductance and low levels of capacitance. For more details, visit

Poised for portable designs, On Semiconductor’s ESD11N5.0ST5G and ESD11B5.0ST5G ESD-protection devices are available in 0201 DSN-2 packages measuring 0.6 by 0.3 by 0.3 mm, translating into a three-times space savings compared to the popular SOD-923 package, a.k.a., the 0402 (Fig. 2). Sporting bidirectional, single-line designs, the devices also deliver the best clamping voltage on the market, claims the company.

The ESD11N is a 0.6-pF device that specifies less than 0.5 dB of insertion loss up to 3 GHz, while the ESD11B is a 15-pF device. Both clamp an input ESD waveform of 8 kV as per the IEC61000-4-2 contact standard to less than 10 V in several nanoseconds.

The ESD11N5.0ST5G and ESD11B5.0ST5G cost $0.098 and $0.039 each per 10,000, respectively. Datasheets are available at and

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