Electrostatic Discharge-Handling Considerations for Electronic Assemblies in Automotive Applications 840489

The phenomenon of Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) can best be described as a miniature lightning bolt which can cause a great deal of damage to electronic systems, on the order of millions of dollars a year. Electronic failure due to ESD was virtually unknown when the electronics industry used vacuum tubes. However, semiconductors have proven to be vulnerable to ESD. The breakthroughs in technology in recent years have increased circuit density several hundred fold, by miniaturizing circuits in the semiconductor device. These smaller circuits are more prone to electrostatic discharge damage. Because industry trends are toward increased circuit density and toward greater use of electronics in automotive applications, it is important to be aware of the effects of ESD and how to prevent or minimize those effects. There are procedures that can be used to minimize the effects of ESD. The purpose of this paper is to introduce the topic of Electrostatic Discharge, how it affects the electronics industry, and how to prevent damage to the electronic products assembled into the automobile.


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