Antenna tuners in smartphones, like other electronic components, must be able to withstand electrostatic discharge (ESD) at every stage from device manufacturing and smartphone assembly to consumer use. However, confusion exists about the level of ESD protection required at each stage. Evolving standards and modern manufacturing systems have reduced ESD requirements for tuners – but component selection is still often based on legacy assumptions.
This paper aims to address outdated misperceptions that tuners require extremely high ESD protection ratings: >2 kV human body model (HBM), >1 kV charged device model (CDM). In reality, today’s automated manufacturing techniques mean that tuners require relatively modest HBM and CDM, as defined in the relevant ANSI/ESD S20.20 standard. Furthermore, system-level ESD protection to comply with IEC 61000-4-2 for consumer use is provided by inductors, varactors and/or other ESD protection components mounted on PCBs and other components in that system circuitry.