Last year, about 40% of new smartphones included Near Field Communication (NFC). According to analysts there are now 1 billion NFC enabled phones. Clearly, the use of NFC is ramping up because it can simplify aspects as diverse as communication, secure payments, user authentication, and retail loyalty programs for instance.
Adding NFC functionality to an integrated circuit involves connecting the wireless interface pins to an antenna/coil. The voltage on those pads strongly depend on the distance between and alignment of transmit/read devices and the power of the transmitting device. The voltage can easily run above 10V, beyond the maximum tolerated voltage of the sensitive circuits.
Sofics’ clipping circuit protects wireless interface circuits against excess voltage
3.3V Signaling on a 40nm, 1.8V I/O baseband chip
Creating high voltage pins in advanced processes is an emerging topic receiving more and more attention. Often these stem from legacy requirements or from sensors and/or actuators that work on higher voltage levels then available in the process. Sofics engineers have an extensive track record in providing ESD solutions for these pins, with 5.5V solutions on a 55nm process or 12V solution on a standard 28nm process
- 3V IO in 28nm using 1.8V transistors - in mass production