Nanoscale CMOS technologies have been widely used to implement radio-frequency (RF) integrated circuits. However, the thinner gate oxide and silicided drain/source in nanoscale CMOS technologies seriously degraded the electrostatic discharge (ESD) robustness of RF circuits. Against ESD damage, an on-chip ESD protection design must be included in the RF circuits. As the RF circuits operate in the higher frequency band, the parasitic effect from ESD protection circuit must be strictly limited. To provide the effective ESD protection for a 60-GHz low-noise amplifier with less RF performance degradation, two new ESD protection circuits were studied in a 65-nm CMOS process. Such compact ESD protection circuits have been successfully verified in silicon chip to achieve the 2-kV human-body-model ESD robustness with the low insertion loss in small layout area. With the better performances, the proposed ESD protection circuits were very suitable for V-band RF ESD protection.
Ref.: C.-Y. Lin, L.-W. Chu, S.-Y. Tsai, and M.-D. Ker, “Design of compact ESD protection circuit for V-band RF applications in a 65-nm CMOS technology,” IEEE Trans. on Device and Materials Reliability, vol. 12, no. 3, pp. 554-561, Sep. 2012.