Transient EM/Circuit Co-Simulation in XFdtd: A Closer Look at TVS Diodes for ESD Protection

Transient voltage suppression (TVS) diodes help protect electronic circuits from surge voltages associated with an electrostatic discharge (ESD) event and are commonly placed alongside I/O lines, audio hardware, human interface devices, power supplies, and an antenna’s RF front end (RFFE).

TVS diode simulation presents certain challenges.  Full-wave time-domain electromagnetic (EM) solvers can analyze a device’s 3D CAD geometry, but the circuit component models are limited.  Alternatively, circuit solvers can simulate complex nonlinear elements, but 3D EM effects and signal delay are approximated as inductors, capacitors, or distributed elements, such as a transmission line.

This paper introduces XFdtd’s transient EM/circuit co-simulation capability, which combines the strength of 3D full-wave electromagnetic simulation with the flexibility of circuit solvers.  This approach embeds a transient nonlinear circuit solver in the full-wave simulation so that all electromagnetic phenomena are accounted for in a single time-domain simulation.

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