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How to Protect a Circuit From ESD

So you’ve submitted your board for ESD testing and let the smoke out of something.  Now what?  Finding a remedy for ESD, or electrostatic-discharge, problems can be a delicate balance between protection, functionality, and cost.  While there is no “one size fits all” solution for ESD, we’ve compiled the following sources of technical information to aid you in your quest to solve this complex issue.  Whether you’re designing an ECU for a car, a charging circuit for a cell phone, or a high voltage electronic device, you will find something useful in the contents below!     


We’ve compiled the following sources (title, domain, description) for ESD protection:

  • Using ESD Diodes as Voltage Clamps ( – This article aims to introduce readers to the various types of ESD implementations discuss the characteristics of each implementation and provide guidance on how to utilize these cells to improve the robustness of a design.
  • Four Ways to Enhance ESD Protection After Your Design Flunks Its ESD Test ( – You thought your electrostatic-discharge protection was bulletproof, yet the IC still fried in test. Now what?
  • Key Considerations For ESD Circuit Protection ( – Guard very high-speed data lines by taking into account the capacitance and placement of ESD suppression devices.
  • What Does ESD Do To My Circuit And How Can I Protect Against It? ( – [Kevin Darrah] is risking the nerves on his index finger to learn about ESD protection. Armed with a white pair of socks, a microfiber couch, and a nylon carpet, like a wizard from a book he summon
  • ESD Circuit Design Guidelines Electronics Notes ( – In order to ensure circuits are able to withstand ESD in normal operation, it is necessary to follow some design guidelines
  • Electrostatic discharge – Wikipedia ( –
  • ESD Protection Circuits – Qorvo ( – Qorvo offers reliable system-level electrostatic-discharge (ESD) protection circuits with very low capacitance GaAs MESFETs that protect amplifiers and other circuits.
  • Semtech Circuit Protection Technology ( – Semtech ESD Protection devices feature low clamping voltages, as well as product families that include low voltage operation, low capacitance and flip chip packaging.
  • Analysis and design of distributed ESD protection circuits for high-speed mixed-signal and RF ICs – IEEE Journals & Magazine ( –
  • How to Choose an ESD Protection Capacitor ( – ESD (Electrostatic Disharge) is the rapid transfer of electrostatic charge. When one object is positive and another negative and they come into contact, they are going to want to balance their electrons. The rush of elec…
  • General Purpose ESD Protection ( – Semtech provides reliable system-level ESD and EMI circuit protection solutions that meet the industry’s toughest requirements.


These topics were mentioned multiple times across sources:

  • Electrostatic Discharge
  • high voltage
  • circuit board
  • protection device
  • protection circuit
  • clamping voltage
  • triboelectric charging
  • input voltage
  • Charged Device Model
  • voltage protection
  • electronic device
  • electronic components
  • electronics devices
  • sensitive components
  • electrical charge
  • voltage rail
  • static electricity
  • signal integrity
  • voltage spikes
  • electronic product
  • circuit design
  • electrical potential
  • data rate
  • test specification
  • peak voltage
  • data line
  • board level
  • selection process
  • additional protection
  • printed circuit board


These are some relevant questions found across sources:

  • What is System Level ESD Protection?
  • How to Choose an ESD Protection Device
  • What is ESD?
  • What Does ESD Do To My Circuit And How Can I Protect Against It?


These are some relevant subsections found across sources:

  • ESD Diode Configurations
  • ESD Design Guidelines: for electronic circuits
  • Key Considerations For ESD Circuit Protection
  • ESD design methods
  • ESD Protection Circuits
  • Using ESD Diodes as Voltage Clamps
  • ESD Cells as Clamps
  • ESD PCB design
  • ESD protection requirement
  • Simulation and testing for electronic devices


These are some factual sentences found across sources:

  • The ESD Association has estimated the average loss of products due to user-generated ESD at 27% to 33%. (


These sites were referenced multiple times across sources:

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Written by Mel Gipson

A veteran of the semiconductor and electronics industry, Mel began his career repairing dot matrix printers in 1998 for a larget IT company in the healthcare space. While earning his electronic engineering degree, he worked at a small design firm, giving him a broad base of knowledge in mechanical and electrical engineering, as well as purchasing and supply chain management. Once he graduated, Mel decided to pursue technical sales, working for one of the largest broad-line electronic component distributors in the world. To narrow his focus on a group of suppliers and technologies, Mel spent eight years working as a manufacturers’ rep selling semiconductors. With a well-rounded background in engineering, distribution, and technical rep sales, he currently works for a large semiconductor manufacturer in the Atlanta area. Mel has two small children and enjoys hiking on the weekends.

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