A low-noise amplifier (LNA) is the input part of a radio frequency (RF) transceiver, which is vulnerable to electrostatic discharge (ESD). When ESD events occur, they may change the original characteristics of the LNA, such as gain decrease and noise figure (NF) increase. Dual diodes (DD) with MOS-based power clamp is a traditional on-chip ESD protection circuit, but it has disadvantages of large parasitic capacitance, large turn-on resistance, large layout area, and large leakage current. Therefore, a new compact ESD protection circuit is proposed, which uses stacked diodes with embedded silicon-controlled rectifier (SDeSCR) and SCR-based power clamp to protect the LNA. The proposed design has advantages of low parasitic capacitance, low clamping voltage, high ESD robustness, and compact layout area. In this work, the ESD protection circuit and the K-band LNA are fabricated in CMOS technology, and their RF characteristics and ESD robustness are verified.
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