Characterization and Modeling of Commercial ICs for System-Efficient ESD Design

Zhekun Peng*, Yang Xu, Manje Yea, Sergej Bub, Steffen Holland, Dong Hyun Kim, David Pommerenke, Daryl G. Beetner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Optimizing electrostatic discharge (ESD) protection strategies requires simulation models of both on- and off-die ESD devices, but detailed information about on-die ESD protection is rarely available. Methods are proposed in the following paper to characterize and model the on-chip ESD protection using only measurements, with minimal a priori information about how the protection is implemented. The characterization targets a three-terminal (rather than the traditional two-terminal) protection structure, including the I/O, Vdd, Vss pins, and allows for current to flow between multiple pins simultaneously. A previously-developed behavioral model for TVS devices is used to capture the ESD behavior of the integrated circuit (IC), including its linear, quasi-static, and transient nonlinear response. The approach is used to model the equivalent current that flows through the on-chip ESD protection of two commercial ICs. The model of the on-chip ESD protection is combined with a behavioral model of an off-chip transient voltage suppressor to demonstrate their combined performance in a system-efficient ESD design (SEED) simulation. The model is validated both when the IC is powered-off and powered-on. The SEED model was able to predict quasistatic and peak voltages and currents at the IC with less than a 10% error.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1802-1811
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Electromagnetic Compatibility
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2022


  • Electrostatic discharge
  • experimental characteri- zation
  • integrated circuit
  • modeling
  • system-level ESD

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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