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Semtech unrolls 'first' ultra-small, 6-line ESD shield

Posted: 19 Jun 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Stephan Ohr? electrostatic discharge? protection? ESD? Semtech?

Protecting sensitive electronics from damage due to electrostatic discharge (ESD), Semtech Corp. claims to offer the industry's first ultra-small six-line protection device. The 5V Clamp0506P ESD protection array, housed in a 1.6-by-1.6-by-0.6mm form factor, is designed specifically for space-constrained portable devices.

The Clamp0506P, the latest addition to Semtech's MicroClamp product family, is said to offer the industry's widest selection of line capacities from one to six lines. The company said while the protection device is suitable for any portable device, it's a natural fit for 12-button mobile phone keypads. A key benefit is the reduction in the number of protection parts required from three to two, which saves board space and cuts costs.

Fewer components automatically translate into more board space, which facilitates layout of the board, hence simplification of the design, said Rick Hansen, marketing manager for the MicroClamp product. In addition, the ultra-small size of the leadless SLP 6L package makes the Clamp0506P a perfect fit for the latest generation of ultra-slim portable devices including cell phones.

The Clamp0506P features a very low clamping voltage that helps designers meet IEC standards for protection against ESD and electrical fast transient (EFT) events by reducing stress on the protected IC during an ESD event. The device exceeds IEC 61000-4-2 Level 4 ESD requirements (18kV contact, 115kV air) and 61000-4-4 EFT requirements of 40A (5/50ns).

This six-line device uses Semtech's proprietary leadless package (SLP) for its small size and solid-state silicon-avalanche technology, which lowers the clamping voltage for greater reliability.

The device can be configured to protect up to six unidirectional lines by connecting the center pad to the ground pad, or five bidirectional lines when any of the I/O pins is connected to ground. In comparison, leaded devices protect one less line because one pin must be used for the ground connection. The Clamp 0506P is Pb-free and RoHS-compliant.

MicroClamp devices are placed in between the protected circuit and the sources of potential ESD, including interfaces such as keyboards, LED drivers, battery chargers, power or headphone connectors. During an ESD event, the TVS array becomes a low-impedance path protecting the circuit by diverting harmful current to ground, said the company.

Semtech's previous Clamp series introduction was a 4-line ESD protection array. Designated as the Clamp3304A, it features a different package (SC-89) and different proprietary technology associated with the 3.3V process.

Available in a leadless SLP 6L package, the Clamp0506P is available immediately in production quantities and is priced at 22 cents each in quantities of 10,000.

- Stephan Ohr

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