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A substrate-triggered technique is proposed to improve electrostatic discharge (ESD) protection efficiency of ESD protection circuits without extra salicide blocking and ESD-implantation process modifications in a salicided shallow-trench-isolation CMOS process. By using the layout technique, the whole ESD protection circuit can be merged into a compact device structure to enhance the substrate-triggered efficiency. This substrate-triggered design can increase ESD robustness and reduce the trigger voltage of the ESD protection device. This substrate-triggered ESD protection circuit with a field oxide device of channel width of 150 μm can sustain a human-body-model ESD level of 3250 V without any extra process modification. Comparing to the traditional ESD protection design of gate-grounded nMOS (ggnMOS) with silicide-blocking process modification in a 0.25-μm salicided CMOS process, the proposed substrate-triggered design without extra process modification can improve ESD robustness per unit silicon area from the original 1.2 V/μm2 of ggnMOS to 1.73 V/μm2.