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Circuit solutions on ESD protection design for mixed-voltage I/O buffers in nanoscale CMOS

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2 Author(s)
Ming-Dou Ker ; Institute of Electronics, National Chiao-Tung University, 1001 Ta-Hsueh Road, Hsinchu, Taiwan 300, R.O.C. ; Chang-Tzu Wang

Electrostatic discharge (ESD) protection for mixed-voltage I/O interfaces has been one of the major challenges of system-on-a-chip (SOC) implementation in nanoscale CMOS processes. Moreover, the gate leakage current across thin gate-oxide devices has serious degradation on circuit performance while circuits implementing in nanoscale CMOS processes. The on-chip ESD protection circuit for mixed-voltage I/O buffers should meet the gate-oxide reliability constraints and be designed with consideration of gate leakage current. This paper presents the effective ESD protection scheme with circuit solutions to protect the mixed-voltage I/O buffers in nanoscale CMOS processes against ESD stresses. The proposed ESD protection scheme and the specific ESD clamp circuits with low standby leakage current have been successfully verified in nanoscale CMOS processes. Effective on-chip ESD protection scheme should be early planed and started in the beginning phase of chip design in order to achieve good enough ESD robustness for IC products.

Published in:

2009 IEEE Custom Integrated Circuits Conference

Date of Conference:

13-16 Sept. 2009