On-Chip Electro-Static Discharge (ESD) Protection for Radio-Frequency Integrated Circuits

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Typically, the wireless communication devices register with a particular base station or access point 12 - 14 to receive services from the communication system For direct connections i. Typically, base stations are used for cellular telephone systems and like-type systems, while access points are used for in-home or in-building wireless networks. For cellular telephone hosts, the radio 60 is a built-in component.


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As illustrated, the host device 18 - 32 includes a processing module 50 , memory 52 , radio interface 54 , input interface 58 and output interface The processing module 50 and memory 52 execute the corresponding instructions that are typically done by the host device. For example, for a cellular telephone host device, the processing module 50 performs the corresponding communication functions in accordance with a particular cellular telephone standard. The radio interface 54 allows data to be received from and sent to the radio For data received from the radio 60 e.

The output interface 56 provides connectivity to an output display device such as a display, monitor, speakers, et cetera such that the received data may be displayed.

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The radio interface 54 also provides data from the processing module 50 to the radio The processing module 50 may receive the outbound data from an input device such as a keyboard, keypad, microphone, et cetera via the input interface 58 or generate the data itself. The antenna 86 may be a single antenna that is shared by the transmit and receive paths as regulated by the RF interface module 73 , or may include separate antennas for the transmit path and receive path. The antenna implementation will depend on the particular standard to which the wireless communication device is compliant.

The digital receiver processing module 64 and the digital transmitter processing module 76 , in combination with operational instructions stored in memory 75 , execute digital receiver functions and digital transmitter functions, respectively. The digital receiver and transmitter processing modules 64 and 76 may be implemented using a shared processing device, individual processing devices, or a plurality of processing devices.

The memory 75 may be a single memory device or a plurality of memory devices. In operation, the radio 60 receives outbound data 94 from the host device via the host interface The host interface 62 routes the outbound data 94 to the digital transmitter processing module 76 , which processes the outbound data 94 in accordance with a particular wireless communication standard e.

The digital transmission formatted data 96 will be a digital base-band signal or a digital low IF signal, where the low IF typically will be in the frequency range of one hundred kilohertz to a few megahertz. The digital-to-analog converter 78 converts the digital transmission formatted data 96 from the digital domain to the analog domain. The IF mixing stage 82 directly converts the analog baseband or low IF signal into an RF signal based on a transmitter local oscillation 83 provided by local oscillation module The power amplifier 84 amplifies the RF signal to produce outbound RF signal 98 , which is provided to the antenna via the RF interface module The radio 60 also receives an inbound RF signal 88 via the antenna 86 , which was transmitted by a base station, an access point, or another wireless communication device.

The antenna 86 provides the inbound RF signal 88 to the RF interface module 73 , which provides the RF signal to low noise amplifier The LNA 72 amplifies the signal 88 to produce an amplified inbound RF signal and provides the amplified inbound RF signal to the IF mixing module 70 , which directly converts the amplified inbound RF signal into an inbound low IF signal or baseband signal based on a receiver local oscillation 81 provided by local oscillation module The analog-to-digital converter 66 converts the filtered inbound signal from the analog domain to the digital domain to produce digital reception formatted data The host interface 62 provides the recaptured inbound data 92 to the host device 18 - 32 via the radio interface As one of average skill in the art will appreciate, the wireless communication device of FIG.

For example, the host device may be implemented on one integrated circuit, the digital receiver processing module 64 , the digital transmitter processing module 76 and memory 75 may be implemented on a second integrated circuit, and the remaining components of the radio 60 , less the antenna 86 , may be implemented on a third integrated circuit. As an alternate example, the radio 60 may be implemented on a single integrated circuit. As yet another example, the processing module 50 of the host device and the digital receiver and transmitter processing modules 64 and 76 may be a common processing device implemented on a single integrated circuit.

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The circuit includes a balun , impedance matching circuit and clamping circuit The impedance matching circuit and the impedance of balun match, at frequencies of a radio frequency signal, the impedance of the antenna providing the single-ended RF signal As configured, the transformer balun converts single-ended RF signals into differential RF signals or conversely converts differential RF signals into single-ended RF signals Alternatively, the clamping circuit may be tied to the secondary winding of balun As shown, an integrated circuit pad of the RFIC is coupled to antenna The balun includes a 1 st winding coupled to the integrated circuit pad and to capacitor C 3 , and a 2 nd winding.

The 2 nd winding includes a 1 st pair of taps coupled to the input of the low noise amplifier and a 2 nd pair of taps coupled to the output of power amplifier In this embodiment, capacitor C 1 and C 2 provide the impedance matching, in combination with the input impedance of balun The clamping circuit may include one or more of diodes D 1 -D 4 and inductor L 1. In one embodiment, the clamping circuit may include only diodes D 1 and D 2 , where, when a static charge is received at the integrated circuit pad, one of the diodes D 1 or D 3 becomes active and, in combination with capacitors C 1 , C 2 and C 3 , absorb the energy provided by the static discharge.

The absorption of the energy provided by the static discharge may also be dissipated within the transformer balun Further dissipation of the energy may be achieved by including inductor L 1. Note that the size of inductor L 1 corresponds to the rate of electrostatic discharge but is of such a size that provides negligible effect on processing of single-ended RF signals. Accordingly, the sensitive input transistors of LNA 72 are protected. In this embodiment, the protection circuitry includes one or more of diodes D 1 -D 4 and inductor L 1.

As described with reference to FIG. Such relativity between items ranges from a difference of a few percent to magnitude differences.

On-chip Electro-static Discharge (esd) Protection For Radio-frequency Integrated Circuits

For example, when the desired relationship is that a first signal has a greater magnitude than a second signal, a favorable comparison may be achieved when the magnitude of the first signal is greater than that of the second signal or when the magnitude of the second signal is less than that of the first signal. The preceding discussion has presented an electrostatic discharge protection circuit for use in a radio frequency integrated circuit.

Liou has been awarded 8 U.

On-Chip ESD Protection Device for High-Speed I/O Applications in CMOS Technology

Biedenbach Outstanding Engineering Educator Award in Javier A. JavaScript is currently disabled, this site works much better if you enable JavaScript in your browser.


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