Circuit protection for very fast data lines
SoCs for very fast data lines such as SuperSpeed USB, MHL, HDMI, DisplayPort and eSATA require the most advanced CMOS processes. Because ESD protection circuits can't be scaled down according to Moore's Law, these SoCs have integrated ESD protection circuits, typically only designed to survive the well-protected assembly process. However, when the complete system, such as a phone, tablet or computer, is used under ambient conditions, it is very likely to experience more severe ESD strikes. Interface SoCs are also especially susceptible to electrostatic discharges. This paper explores key application requirements for high-speed data lines and the technology needed for ESD protection.