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New, Robust Approach to Overvoltage Protection for Sensitive Electronic Signal Inputs

Thomas Brand, Field Applications Engineer, Analog Devices

High demands on the robustness of electronic systems, especially in industrial environments, continually present developers with great challenges. Overvoltage protection is one key design consideration and challenge, as additional components are usually required to protect systems from overvoltage events—yet they frequently impact and, in the worst case, can even falsify signals. Beyond that, these components incur additional costs and contribute to spatial constraints. Hence, when designing the protection circuit, traditional solutions often require a compromise between system accuracy and the protection level.

Typically, a common and simple design method uses external protection diodes, usually transient voltage suppressor (TVS) diodes, clamped between the signal line and supply or ground. TVS diodes are advantageous as they can react instantaneously to temporary voltage spikes. This type of external overvoltage protection is shown on the left side of Figure 1.

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Niloy Banerjee

A generic movie-buff, passionate and professional with print journalism, serving editorial verticals on Technical and B2B segments, crude rover and writer on business happenings, spare time playing physical and digital forms of games; a love with philosophy is perennial as trying to archive pebbles from the ocean of literature. Lastly, a connoisseur in making and eating palatable cuisines.

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