A COMPONENTLESS, ELECTROSTATIC DISCHARGE TECHNIQUE
Original Publication Date: 1993-Oct-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2002-Feb-21
All semiconductor based devices need to be protected from the dangers of electrostatic discharge. This invention describes a highly efficient alterna- tive to using the zener array or mechanical insula- tion protection approach. The invention consists of an artwork configuration on a flexible or rigid printed circuit board that provides a 'preferred' path for the high energy of an electrostatic charge to discharge. (see figure below). As the charge builds up on cir- cuit trace #l it is most likely to arc from circuit trace #l's probe to the adjacent probe which could carry the charge to ground. By closely controlling the distance between the two probe's points and the dielectric constant of the adhesive or material that will separate them, the sensitivity of the circuit to electrostatic charge can be adjusted. Today's improved control over etch tolerances have made this approach more feasible than in the past.