Browse Prior Art Database

RFID to detect ESD failures and Events

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000181503D
Original Publication Date: 2009-Apr-03
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2009-Apr-03
Document File: 2 page(s) / 43K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Electrostatic discharge (ESD) failures or events are difficult to identify. Most detection practice includes: placing an electrostatic discharge on the part, analyzing the leakage signature, and performing failure analysis to confirm an ESD event has ocurred. The disclosure introduces an intermediate circuit that is enabled only by ESD events/ failure. Once enabled, it activates the radio frequency identification (RFID) device, which transmits a signal to inform the end user about the ESD damage.

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RFID to detect ESD failures and Events

ESD voltages can exceed the breakdown voltage of any structure on an integrated circuit. The current will flow through the path(s) of least resistance. ESD protection provides a preferred discharge current path designed to carry high currents. The discharge path must carry high current while developing a low voltage drop or the current will be re-routed through sensitive circuits.

However when an IC fails due to an ESD event or due to non-robust ESD protection strategy and devices, it is not possible to confirm that the failure was due to ESD, unless leakage signatures are verified and/or failure analysis has been performed. Hence, the usual method of determining the robustness of an ESD protection strategy is to physically place an electrostatic discharge on the part, analyze the leakage signature, and perform failure analysis to confirm failures, if any. This method of determination is destructive, time consuming and are more resource extensive than the proposed invention.

The disclosure proposes a circuit that tracks the voltages across the ESD diode to firstly detect the incident of the ESD event and then to detect if the ESD device has failed to an open or short. Once failures are detected, one or more RFID tag circuits are enabled to transmit the failure. The user is informed of failure without the need for any further testing including destructive or non destructive testing.

Vdd

ESD Power Clamp

Figure 1. Typical ESD protection strategy

A typical ESD protection strategy is shown in Figure 1. A P+/NW diode is used as the up diode (diode going from pad to Vdd) and the N+/SX diode as the down diode (diode going from pad to Vss). Thi...