3M - EOS: What Is It and How to Manage It

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Electrical overstress, or EOS, occurs when excessive electrical signals are applied to components and circuits. Electrostatic discharge (ESD) is only a partial case of electrical overstress and is generally considered as a separate phenomenon. While an ESD event lasts a few nanoseconds, EOS lasts much longer – it is not limited to any duration – and can inflict significant damage, often more severe than ESD. According to Intel, “EOS is the number one cause of damage to IC components.” For technical details on EOS exposure, see the referenced sources at the end of this document.

In the static control field, the following sources of EOS may be considered the most common:

  • Overvoltage from soldering irons
  • Overvoltage from power tools such as electric screwdrivers, etc.
  • Overvoltage from the difference in voltage between grounds (e.g. when a circuit is electrically connected to one ground while a tool – manual or automatic – is connected to another ground)
  • Overvoltage from test fixtures that can produce undesirable voltage artifacts during commutation or test
  • Spikes on power supply during the test
  • Many other sources, often unpredictable

EOS is not a new phenomenon – it has existed for a long time. However, with increasing sensitivity of electronics components, EOS is gaining more attention as a significant factor in product yield and reliability...

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