Patent Number: 8,817,433

Title: Electrostatic discharge protection device having an intermediate voltage supply for limiting voltage stress on components

Abstract: An electrostatic protection apparatus is disclosed that has a voltage level supply configured to supply a voltage level to an electrostatic discharge protection device and the electrostatic discharge protection device that protects a semiconductor electronic device from a rapidly increasing incoming current. The voltage level supply comprises: a voltage divider arranged between high and low voltage rails for supplying an intermediate voltage level to the electrostatic protection device such that a voltage drop across at least some devices within the electrostatic protection device is limited by the intermediate voltage level; a detection device for detecting a signal received from said electrostatic discharge protection device indicating the electrostatic discharge protection device has received the rapidly increasing incoming current; a switching device responsive to the signal to switch the voltage level supplied to the electrostatic discharge protection device from the intermediate voltage level to a voltage level of one of the voltage rails.

Inventors: Padilla; Thierry (Claix, FR), Blanc; Fabrice (Vinay, FR), Duby; Jean-Claude (Saint Egreve, FR)

Assignee: ARM Limited

International Classification: H02H 1/00 (20060101)

Expiration Date: 8/26/12018