Low-Capacitance and Fast Turn-on SCR for RF ESD Protection

Chun-Yu LIN  Ming-Dou KER  Guo-Xuan MENG  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Electronics   Vol.E91-C   No.8   pp.1321-1330
Publication Date: 2008/08/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1353
DOI: 10.1093/ietele/e91-c.8.1321
Print ISSN: 0916-8516
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Section on Microelectronic Test Structures (ICMTS2007))
electrostatic discharge (ESD),  low capacitance (low-C),  power amplifier (PA),  radio-frequency (RF),  silicon-controlled rectifier (SCR),  waffle layout,  

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With the smaller layout area and parasitic capacitance under the same electrostatic discharge (ESD) robustness, silicon-controlled rectifier (SCR) has been used as an effective on-chip ESD protection device in radio-frequency (RF) IC. In this paper, SCR's with the waffle layout structures are studied to minimize the parasitic capacitance and the variation of the parasitic capacitance within ultra-wide band (UWB) frequencies. With the reduced parasitic capacitance and capacitance variation, the degradation on UWB RF circuit performance can be minimized. Besides, the fast turn-on design on the low-capacitance SCR without increasing the I/O loading capacitance is investigated and applied to an UWB RF power amplifier (PA). The PA co-designed with SCR in the waffle layout structure has been fabricated. Before ESD stress, the RF performances of the ESD-protected PA are as well as that of the unprotected PA. After ESD stress, the unprotected PA is seriously degraded, whereas the ESD-protected PA still keeps the performances well.