Introduction to the Transmission Line Pulse test method

Although the idea of using transmission lines to generate short electrical pulses already existed earlier, it was not until 1985 that it was first introduced to study semiconductor devices under ESD conditions. – T. Maloney and N. Khurana, “Transmission Line Pulsing Techniques for Circuit Modeling of ESD Phenomena” in Proceedings of the EOS/ESD Symposium, 1985, pp. 49–54.

Join Martin in the latest video in our Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) protection series introducing TLP.

TLP (Transmission Line Pulse) is a pulse generation technique where a charged transmission line discharges, propagating a square wave pulse into the system under test. The pulse length is commonly 100ns with a rise time of 1ns in the “Standard TLP” configuration. By keeping everything within a 50 Ohm system, TLP allows precise inline measurements of current and voltage during the pulse. These measurements, averaged within a window of 70 to 90ns, are plotted as points on an I-V curve. This curve accurately describes the switching behavior of a protection device, including the trigger voltage (Vt1), snap-back or holding voltage (Vhold), holding current (ihold), and dynamic resistance (Rdyn). TLP provides precise and reproducible data, making it crucial for comparing protection devices and selecting the most suitable one for specific applications.

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