Consumer applications

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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.

Custom ESD requirements

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

A. High-Speed interfaces

Sofics IP is used for many high-frequency interfaces (wired, wireless) that are used a lot in consumer electronics (USB, HDMI, DisplayPort, Bluetooth, Wifi, …). These interfaces need ESD clamps with low parasitic capacitance. Sofics low-capacitance ESD clamps provide standard ESD robustness and do not require a resistance in the signal path.

B. Cost reduction

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.

C. Low power

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.

D. Beyond standard voltage levels

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

E. 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.

IC products from our customers

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, …

Related applications

Automotive Electronics

Wired, wireless, optical comm.

Data center

Internet of Things