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The Current Video Podcast by Future Electronics

circuit protection

Protect your designs with essential circuit protection methods and solutions.

Season 1: Episode 9

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ESD Protection, What You Should Consider When Securing Your Designs

Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) is not always the most compelling topic for engineers who are designing an embedded system, but it is ALWAYS critical. ESD protection ensures the reliability of our designs as engineers, in even unexpected conditions, and with a little foresight, it can be easy to prepare for.

In this episode of The Current, Todd Baker speaks to Mark Hubbard-Field, Application Engineer at Littelfuse, about the details of ESD protection and what engineers should consider when trying to protect their products.

What is ESD?

Electrostatic Discharge occurs when surfaces contact each other, resulting in an excess of electrons on one surface, versus the other which would be lacking.

Types of Electrostatic Discharge

  • Spark: Occurs when a heavy electric field creates an ionized conductive channel in air. This can cause anywhere from minor to severe damage to electronic equipment or people.
  • Invisible or inaudible spark: Can occur when someone is carrying a relatively small electric charge (static), yet it can still cause device damage or even failure.

Importance of ESD

In short, the importance lies in the risk factors above. Since electronics manufacturers are designing all sorts of embedded systems nowadays, the importance of ESD rises continuously. To ensure equipment is protected against discharge, these manufacturers need to be confident in the reliability of their designs and workplace (equally important) over a long period of time so that they can offer the best solution for their customers.

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