Consumer electronics (smartphones, TVs, DVD players, set-top boxes, …) combine a lot of different chip functions like power management, display, touch, communication.
Each of these chip functions have different requirements but some aspects are similar. Consumer electronics need to be low cost, low power, reliable. Unique ESD solutions can provide benefits for all those needs.
Consumer electronics need a diverse set of custom ESD solutions for each of the different chip functions integrated into the systems:
Many consumer devices use high-bandwidth communication (wired/wireless). Those need ESD protection with low parasitic capacitance
To reduce cost, the system on chip is typically designed on the most advanced CMOS and FinFET processes. The core transistors on these processes are very sensitive to ESD stress. Effective ESD protection clamps are required
The applications frequently require chip interfaces operated at a higher voltage, beyond the standard I/O voltage range.
The power consumption of the devices must be kept low. Low leakage ESD protection concepts come in handy.
Moreover, the right ESD solutions can help to reduce chip design cost, reduce chip production costs and improve time-2-market.
Sofics IP for Consumer Electronics
Key Focus Areas
Sofics IP is used for many high-speed data interfaces (wired and optical) between the compute and memory functions. These interfaces need ESD clamps with low parasitic capacitance. Sofics clamps provide standard ESD robustness and do not require a resistance in the signal path.
Fabless companies that integrate Sofics IP in their IC designs have been able to reduce their costs spanning across reduced design cost, reduced mask and manufacturing costs, lower risks and reduced time-to-market.
Beyond standard voltage levels
The leakage of our ESD cells is 100x lower compared to conventional approach. Huge improvements can be made in stand-by, sleep, operational modes and during power-cycles. Sofics has solutions available for interfaces and rail clamps.
Our IP was used for sensor interfaces, battery connections and more. We have delivered solutions for high voltage tolerance (5V and higher) and also protected interfaces based on thin oxide transistors (1V and lower) thanks to a flexible but deterministic solution set
Enhanced ESD robustness
Some interfaces require higher ESD robustness, well beyond the typical 2kV HBM. Typical examples include USB, DisplayPort and HDMI interfaces. Our ESD clamps can be easily scaled to any ESD/EOS protection level. We have delivered ESD clamps for 4kV, 8kV HBM as well as for 8kV IEC 61000-4-2.
Process technology covered
Advanced CMOS (40nm to 22nm)
Mainstream CMOS (130nm to 65nm)
Mature CMOS (0.5um to 180nm)
IC products from our costumers
Sofics IP is used in many IC projects from customers in USA, EU, UK, Japan, Taiwan, …
Sofics IP is used for the communication functions (wired, wireless), power management, display functions (pixel, LED and OLED drivers, timing controllers), touch interfaces, (touch) sensor connections, …
Blog article “Optimized Local I/O ESD Protection in FinFET Technology for 2.5D and 3D hybrid integration“
Blog article “Optimized Local I/O ESD Protection for SerDes In Advanced SOI, BiCMOS and FinFET Technology“
Blog article “Optical communication also requires ESD protection“
Partnership announcement with Mixel MIPI
Lantiq licenses Sofics’ ESD solutions
Press announcement about our cooperation with DecaWave (now Qorvo)