Radio-frequency (RF) circuits have been widely designed and fabricated in CMOS processes due to the advantages of high integration and low cost for mass production. Electrostatic discharge (ESD), which has become one of the most important reliability issues in IC products, must be taken into consideration during the design phase of all ICs, including the RF front-end circuits. Without ESD protection circuits at all I/O pads, the RF performance of a wireless transceiver can be easily damaged by ESD stresses, because RF front-end circuits are always fabricated in advanced CMOS processes. Usually the I/O pads are connected to the gate terminal of MOS transistor or silicided drain/source terminal, which leads to a very low ESD robustness if no ESD protection design is applied to the I/O pad. Once the RF front-end circuit is damaged by ESD, it can not be recovered and the RF functionality is lost. Therefore, on-chip ESD protection circuits must be provided for all I/O pads in RF ICs.
|Title of host publication||Electrostatics|
|Subtitle of host publication||Theory and Applications|
|Publisher||Nova Science Publishers, Inc.|
|Number of pages||34|
|State||Published - 1 Dec 2010|