As CMOS processes advanced, the integration of radio-frequency (RF) integrated circuits was increasing. In order to protect the fully-integrated RF transceiver from electrostatic discharge (ESD) damage, the transmit/receive (T/R) switch of transceiver frond-end should be carefully designed to bypass the ESD current. This work presented a technique of embedded ESD protection device to enhance the ESD capability of T/R switch. The embedded ESD protection devices of diodes and silicon-controlled rectifier (SCR) are generated between the transistors in T/R switch without using additional ESD protection device. The design procedure of RF circuits without ESD protection device can be simplified. The test circuits of 2.4-GHz transceiver frond-end with T/R switch, PA, and LNA have been integrated and implemented in nanoscale CMOS process to test their performances during RF operations and ESD stresses. The test results confirm that the embedded ESD protection devices can provide sufficient ESD protection capability and it is free from degrading circuit performances.
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