Two trends are leading to fundamental changes in electrostatic discharge (ESD) protection strategies at the system design level: increased susceptibility of system integrated circuits (ICs) to ESD as they migrate to more advanced process technologies, and increasingly stringent signal integrity requirements as data rates continue to climb. Traditional ESD architectures are not designed to provide suitable protection for these new requirements and susceptibility.


In this paper, California Micro Devices (CMD) introduces PicoGuard XS, a new architecture designed to provide outstanding signal integrity for high speed data interfaces while providing enhanced ESD protection. Picoguard XS eliminates trace parasitics by routing up and through the package, rather than under it, and achieves close impedance by integrating inductors with the ESD diodes. It also eliminates the need for chokes or trace width modification on printed circuit boards (PCBs).