Static electricity can send shocks through your body. We have all experienced walking across carpet on a dry day and then touching a metal doorknob. This shock discharge is formally known as Electrostatic Discharge (ESD). ESD can be annoying to us on a dry day or when wearing nylon clothing, but it can be much more serious to electronic devices. When the current associated with what may seem like a harmless shock enters into electronic equipment, the electronic components inside may suffer permanent damage.
Working to resolve these ESD challenges is a privately held, San Jose based, venture backed company --- Shocking Technologies, Inc. Its patented Voltage Switchable Dielectric™ (VSD) polymer nano‐composite material, XStatic®, can be applied to PCB and package substrates, and it dramatically improves ESD protection to the components in electronic devices. When the material is combined with strategic PCB design rules, Shocking Technologies can boast that they provide the industry’s only solution capable of up to 100 percent protection against ESD.
While the electronics industry has recognized the need for ESD protection, the amount of protection provided by traditional methods only provides minimal protection. Also, traditional methods risk adverse effects on high speed signaling interfaces making it difficult to meet compliance standards. And to make matters worse, with IC node geometry reductions, electronic components have become more susceptible to ESD due to the decrease in fabrication geometry size. ESD engineering experts have recognized the need to better manage ESD, but also realized that an ESD solution cannot impact performance of the product. And since handheld devices are the most susceptible to ESD, it is also recognized that an ESD solution must be cost sensitive in order to address the needs of the consumer market.
The Shocking Technologies’ VSD material is a polymer nano-composite that functions as an insulator (dielectric) during normal circuit operation and becomes conductive when the voltage increases beyond a predefined characteristic voltage. The VSD material becomes an insulator again after the voltage drops back below the characteristic voltage to normal operating levels. The solution is of high value to any handheld product due to the susceptibility that comes with the day to day operation of such devices.
Shocking's XStatic™ material will clamp high voltage ESD events nearly instantaneously
Shocking Technologies and Cadence have agreed to collaborate together to provide automated support to their joint customers to enable up to 100 percent ESD protection. Smartphone and tablet design teams under pressure to meet tight market windows will benefit from the automation that ensures predictable design cycles.
Let us know about your thoughts about working with Shocking Technologies’ XStatic material and Allegro PCB design tools.