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A decreasing-sized π -model electrostatic discharge (ESD) protection structure is presented and applied to protect against ESD stresses at the RF input pad of an ultra-low power CMOS front-end operating in the 2.4-GHz industrial-scientific-medical band. The proposed ESD protection structure is composed of a pair of ESD devices located near the RF pad, another pair close to the core circuit, and a high-quality integrated inductor connecting these two pairs. This structure can sustain a human body-model ESD level higher than 16 kV and a machine-model ESD level higher than 1 kV without degrading the RF performance of the front-end. A combined on-wafer transmission line pulse and RF test methodology for RF circuits is also presented confirming previous results. The front-end implements a zero-IF receiver. It has been implemented in a standard 2P6M 0.18-μm CMOS process. It exhibits a voltage gain of 24 dB and a single-sideband noise figure of 8.4 dB, which make it suitable for most of the 2.4-GHz wireless short-range communication transceivers. The power consumption is only 1.06 mW from a 1.2-V voltage supply.
CitationGonzález, J. [et al.]. A 16-kV HBM RF ESD Protection Codesign for a 1-mW CMOS Direct Conversion Receiver Operating in the 2.4-GHz ISM Band. "IEEE transactions on microwave theory and techniques", Setembre 2011, vol. 59, núm. 9, p. 2318-2330.
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