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An overview on the electrostatic discharge (ESD) protection circuits by using the silicon controlled rectifier (SCR)-based devices in CMOS ICs is presented. The history and evolution of SCR device used for on-chip ESD protection is introduced. Moreover, two practical problems (higher switching voltage and transient-induced latchup issue) limiting the use of SCR-based devices in on-chip ESD protection are reported. Some modified device structures and trigger-assist circuit techniques to reduce the switching voltage of SCR-based devices are discussed. The solutions to overcome latchup issue in the SCR-based devices are also discussed to safely apply the SCR-based devices for on-chip ESD protection in CMOS IC products.