STMicroelectronics Reduces Size of ESD Protection Diodes by Two-Thirds

GENEVA, Dec. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Protection devices meeting IEC61000-4-2 now comes in 0201-sized package, delivering improved performance, valuable space savings, and easier PCB design

GENEVA, Dec. 10 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), a leader in protection devices, announced a new series of ESD protection diodes that are 67% smaller than previous-generation alternatives, and withstand the toughest IEC61000-4-2 ESD test pulse as well as deliver low clamping voltages that improve protection for modern, low-voltage ICs.

The ESDALCxx-1U2 family, in the space-saving ST0201 package, has a footprint of 0.18 sq-mm. This tiny circuit-saver reduces the board space needed to provide mandatory protection in portable devices such as mobile phones, GPS receivers and MP3 players. In addition to allowing designers to implement extra features in the vacated space, these smaller diodes also simplify circuit board layout. Because their 0.3 x 0.6 mm dimensions match the industry-standard 0201 outline for miniature surface-mount passives, board designers can quickly select the optimum solder-pad pattern from available CAD component libraries.

ESD protection diodes are usually placed on power or signal lines that are vulnerable to ESD strike -- typically those that are routed to external connectors or switches. These vulnerable lines can include charger ports, keypads, and the side buttons of mobile phone handsets. When an ESD pulse occurs, the diode protects delicate chips from the pulse energy by diverting the surge current to ground and clamping the voltage spike to a low level that the IC can safely tolerate. The protection diode itself must also be able to withstand the surge energy applied.

ST has used advanced technologies combining small size with high surge-handling capabilities to create this new family comprising the ESDALC3V9-1U2, ESDALC6V1-1U2 and ESDALC14V2-1U2. The devices have breakdown voltage of 3.9V, 6.1V and 14.2V respectively, allowing designers to choose the optimum device to achieve the best clamping voltage for the ICs being protected. All of the new devices are able to survive multiple strikes up to IEC61000-4-2 Level 4, which specifies a contact-discharge pulse of 8kV and 30A surge current. Additional benefits of the new diodes include low leakage current, which minimizes drain on the battery, and low device capacitance of 6pF or 12pF to minimize the effects on signal speeds.

The ESDALC3V9-1U2, ESDALC6V1-1U2, and ESDALC14V2-1U2 are available immediately, in RoHS-compliant packaging, priced at $0.09 each for 100,000 pieces.

About STMicroelectronics

STMicroelectronics is a global leader in developing and delivering semiconductor solutions across the spectrum of microelectronics applications. An unrivalled combination of silicon and system expertise, manufacturing strength, Intellectual Property (IP) portfolio and strategic partners positions the Company at the forefront of System-on-Chip (SoC) technology and its products play a key role in enabling today's convergence markets. The Company's shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange, on Euronext Paris and on the Milan Stock Exchange. In 2007, the Company's net revenues were $10 billion. Further information on ST can be found at

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