For many applications IC designers cannot use the foundry provided GPIO’s or foundry ESD protection clamps.
For instance, excessive leakage prevents low-power circuits. High parasitic capacitance limits interface bandwidth.
Below are examples where Sofics IP can improve IC or interface performance.
Low leakage requirement
Under voltage tolerant/ miswiring
Whether self-powered, or for single-use or rechargeable batteries, low power consumption is a key aspect for implantable electronics. Of course, the power consumption only needs to be monitored at 37°C – as opposed to automotive applications where specifications up to 150°C are very common. From an ESD perspective, the leakage is required to remain well below 1nA.
Many ICs have sub-systems that can be powered down to reduce power consumption: only a small part of the system is awake all the time. All the other circuits are turned off unless required. Traditional ESD protection can ruin the efforts when signals applied on the I/O circuits power-up a functional block not required at that time. Sofics has many protection schemes that allow a voltage at the I/O pad with the Vdd powered off, without causing a leakage path.