ESD Protection: Diodes vs ESD Chips

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by bluexdynasty, Oct 21, 2014.

  1. bluexdynasty

    Thread Starter New Member

    Oct 3, 2014
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    0
    Hi,

    I'm not an expert at ESD protection. Thus, I was wondering if someone can explain to me the pros and cons of using ESD chips like TVS diode arrays versus using regular diodes/thyristors for low powered (i.e 3-5V) electronics?

    When would you use one over the other?

    Basically, I have a transmit and receive line that I want to protect when sending/recieving data to and from my MCU. Thus, I'm trying to find the most optimal and cost efficient way to protect these lines.

    Thanks for the help!
     
  2. Sensacell

    Well-Known Member

    Jun 19, 2012
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    It depends somewhat on the speed of the signals involved and the circuit topology.

    You can usually solve the problem with simple clamp diodes and a series resistor to limit the DC fault currents that occur when the wrong signals are applied.
    TVS diodes are getting very good, with low capacitance, high speed and a wide range of breakdown voltages available.
     
  3. bluexdynasty

    Thread Starter New Member

    Oct 3, 2014
    17
    0
    Thanks for the quick response Sensacell.

    However, I was wondering if there is a generalization on when/why you would use one over the other? Since you mentioned speed, do you have an example at what speed you would use a diode over tvs diode or vice versa?

    In regards to the circuit topology, it's pretty much the connector's communication lines are attached to the MCU. However, these TX and RX lines (from the datasheet it says 1Mbit/s) are close to the 5V line coming in from the supply. Note this is a low powered device 3.3V/5V.
    Thus, I just want to ensure I don't damage anything in the long run but trying to optimize the circuitry.

    Thanks! :)
     
  4. Sensacell

    Well-Known Member

    Jun 19, 2012
    1,124
    266
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