Resistor-less design of power-rail ESD clamp circuit in nanoscale CMOS technology

Chih Ting Yeh*, Ming-Dou Ker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


A resistor-less power-rail electrostatic discharge (ESD) clamp circuit realized with only thin-gate-oxide devices and with a silicon-controlled rectifier (SCR) as the main ESD clamp device has been proposed and verified in a 65-nm CMOS process. By skillfully utilizing the gate leakage current to realize the equivalent resistor in the ESD-transient detection circuit, the RC-based ESD detection mechanism can be achieved without using an actual resistor to significantly reduce the layout area in I/O cells. From the measured results, the new proposed power-rail ESD clamp circuit with an SCR width of 45 μm can achieve 5-kV human-body-model and 400-V machine-model ESD levels under the ESD stress event while consuming only a standby leakage current of 1.43 nA at room temperature under the normal circuit operating condition with 1-V bias.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6335469
Pages (from-to)3456-3463
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Electron Devices
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2012


  • Electrostatic discharge (ESD)
  • gate leakage
  • power-rail ESD clamp circuit
  • silicon-controlled rectifier (SCR)

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