Circuit Protection: Helping Drive Reliability and Longer Life


The primary concerns of engineers designing mobile devices connected to the IoT remain device functionality, performance and feature set. With more devices connected to the IoT intended for long life, remote operation circuit protection increasingly takes a higher priority during the design cycle.

- Mobile device users often interact with the device using touchscreens, push buttons, switches and connectors. These user interfaces can produce ESD events on the supporting circuitry. ESD protection devices – like ESD suppressors and TVS diodes – help protect against ESD failures.

- Some mobile devices support higher data throughput in the Gbps ranges. Providing ESD protection at higher frequencies and higher data rates requires smaller device capacitance and faster response times. The circuit protection manufacturers consistently innovate to the needs of the market, and the current generation of ESD protection devices provide sub-picofarad channel capacitance and nanosecond response times.

- Mobile devices also make use of a single or several RF signal chains. Because of increased signal gain demands and reduced RF transistor insulation layers, RF circuits are susceptible to ESD events. Many RF circuits have internal ESD protection, and these help protect the RF circuitry during manufacturing. Additional external ESD protection is required for use by end users in many applications.

- Passive circuits are often used in applications, but ultra-low capacitance TVS multilayer varistors provide a single chip solution that replaces capacitors, passive filters and diode clamps. The reduction in component count and PCB space lowers installation costs, and the minimal insertion loss drives superior performance in these devices.

- Another area where mobiles devices require circuit protection is the battery. Batteries are often hot-swappable, so they may be subject to overcurrent conditions such as short circuit or overloads. Resettable fuses from the leading circuit protection manufactures are often times a good approach in this application. Since most resettable fuses are usually made of conductive plastics, they enter a high-resistance state when a fault occurs. And, when the fault is removed, the resettable fuse enters its normal low-resistive state.

- Low resistance resettable fuses are essential to longer battery life and higher power efficiencies in battery-powered applications. Circuit protection manufacturers continually increase conductivity of their resettable fuses to drive adoption into IoT nodes. Whatever circuit protection solutions are needed, Avnet and our suppler partners provide the right answer at the right time. Our factory-certified FAEs and our online resources keep engineers updated on the latest circuit protection needs


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