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Nanoscale CMOS technologies have been widely used to implement radio-frequency (RF) integrated circuits. However, the thinner gate oxide and silicided drain/source in nanoscale CMOS technologies seriously degrade the electrostatic discharge (ESD) robustness of RF circuits. Against ESD damage, on-chip ESD protection design must be included in RF circuits. As the RF circuits operating in the higher frequency band, the parasitic effect from ESD protection devices and/or circuits must be strictly limited. To provide the effective ESD protection for a 60-GHz low-noise amplifier (LNA) with less RF performance degradation, a new ESD protection design was studied in a 65-nm CMOS process. Such ESD-protected LNA with simulation/measurement results has been successfully verified in silicon chip to to achieve the 2-kV HBM ESD robustness with the lower power loss in a smaller layout area.
Date of Conference: 20-23 May 2012