ESD and Latch-Up Damage – Issues with Si-Ge Devices

ESD and Latch-Up Damage – Issues with Si-Ge Devices image #1
 
Electrostatic  discharge  (ESD)  tests  to  IEC  61000-4-2  at  more  than  ±4  kilovolts  (kV)  reliably  caused permanent  damage  to  Silicon-Germanium  (Si-Ge)  integrated  circuits  (ICs)  in a  range  of  microwave wireless datacommunication products.
 
‘Latch-Up’ caused by power rail undershoot appeared to be the cause of the problem, and a reliable solution was found.Neither  this  failure  mode  in  Si-Ge  devices,  nor  the  solution  presented  here,  has  –  to the  author’s knowledge – been previously reported.
 
Si-Ge  device  technology  is  at  present  mostly  targeted  at  microwave  wireless  
applications,  which includes  the  Internet  of  Things  (IOT),  and  is  a  candidate  for  much  faster  digital  processing  in  the future.
 
Accordingly, in the near future, Si-Ge may well become a commonplace technology, and significant problems  caused  by  the  latch-up  failure  mode  described  in  this  article  could  become  widespread,unless prevented by the use of the techniques described here, or other techniques.

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