Transients and Electrical Overstress Protection in Electronic Systems
Electrical transients and overstress, such as that generated by lightning, electromagnetic pulses from nuclear weapons and switching of reactive loads, can cause failure, permanent degradation, or temporary malfunction (upset) and even severe damage to electronic devices and systems.
Cost effective protection of industrial, military and consumer electronic systems from these overstresses are of great importance.
Due the increasing necessity for transient protection, in commercial, industrial and consumer systems, in particular - in telecommunication and medical applications, a wide range of international standards regarding transient and electrical ovestress immunity have been developed (e.g., IEC-1000-4-4 and -5, ETS-300-386, FCC Part 68, and many others) and are incorporated in directives and laws (e.g., the EEC EMC Directive, The EEC Medical Devices Directive, etc.) due to the safety aspects related to these effects. Meeting the Transient and Electrical overstress is therefore both a technical necessity as well as a legal requirement.
The extensive use of modern electrical and electronic equipment in all aspects of our life, and the increased sensitivity of the new technologies used for electronic and telecommunication systems, requires the incorporation of adequate and cost-effective protection measures against the harmful effects of electrical overstress and transients into the equipment and installations.
The lack or shortcoming of proper transient immunity design measures, had often led to reduced operation reliability of equipment, increased maintenance costs and even extensive damages to facilities and safety hazards to personnel.