As electronic devices become faster and smaller, their sensitivity to static electricity or Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) increases. Today, ESD impacts productivity and product reliability in virtually every aspect of the global electronics environment.
Considering the threats posed by ESD to product reliability and thus productivity, ESD testing is performed worldwide to ensure electronic devices can handle the ESD for a given environment. For compliance testing in accordance with EU and International requirements, electrostatic discharge testing is performed per IEC/EN 61000-4-2. It simulates ESD events directly to an electronic product or through a nearby metallic surface.
MET offers special ESD testing services at controlled temperature and humidity, in a specially-designed and dedicated chamber. The chamber consists of ESD waveform verification setup and tables that accommodate a variety of EUTs. The chamber has a capability to vary the relative humidity from 15% to 65% and temperature from 18°C to 24°C.
As the ESD event is largely dependent on environmental conditions such as ambient temperature and humidity levels, having this specialized chamber allows for the variation of environmental conditions to see the impact on the device’s performance. This helps determine the worst-case environmental conditions of a given device.
In general, a product may not see any impact of ESD testing at the upper end of the humidity range defined in the standard, since the ESD effect at that range is less severe than at lower humidity levels. This may result in a false sense of security. We strongly recommend performing ESD testing where environmental variables can be precisely controlled. This can be particularly useful during the device’s development cycle. At the same time, it makes debugging for ESD much easier and more effective.