A Robust Battery Monitoring Solution Using the Latch-Up Proof ADG5408 8:1 Multiplexer

A Robust Battery Monitoring Solution Using the Latch-Up Proof ADG5408 8:1 Multiplexer



Sean Brown

Integrated circuits that are used in environments such as automotive, military, process, or industrial applications can be exposed to conditions that are beyond the specified operating limits. In battery monitoring systems, fault conditions can develop, and overvoltages can be applied to these ICs. Even transient overvoltage conditions may cause traditional CMOS switches to experience a condition known as latch-up. Latch-up is an undesirable, high current state that can lead to device failure and can persist even after the fault condition has been removed.

In junction isolation technology, the N- and P-wells of the PMOS and NMOS transistors form a parasitic silicon-controlled rectifier (SCR) circuit. An overvoltage condition can trigger this SCR, causing a significant amplification of current that, in turn, leads to latch-up.

Latch-up can occur if either the input or the output pin voltage exceeds the supply rail by more than a diode drop or by improper power supply sequencing. If a fault occurs on the channel, and the signal exceeds the maximum rating, the fault can trigger the latch-up state in a typical CMOS part.

During circuit power-up, it is also possible for voltages to occur on inputs before power is applied to the CMOS switch, especially if multiple supplies are used to power the circuit. This condition may exceed the maximum rating of the device and trigger a latch-up state.

The ADG5408 is a high voltage 8:1 multiplexer that is latch-up proof. The trench isolation technology used in the fabrication of the ADG5408 prevents the latch-up state and reduces the need for external protection circuitry. Latch-up proof does not guarantee overvoltage protection and only means the switch does enter the high current SCR mode. The ADG5408 also has an electrostatic discharge (ESD) rating of 8 kV human body model (ANSI/ESDA/JEDEC JS-001-2010).

The circuit in Figure 1 shows the ADG5408 used in a battery monitoring application. One multiplexer is used for the positive terminal and another for the negative terminal. This differential multiplexing allows the use of a single instrumentation amplifier for up to eight channels. The amplifier then removes the common-mode voltage from each of the batteries.

Figure 1. Battery monitoring circuit.

When an IC is being designed and evaluated, it is subjected to a test to assess its vulnerability to latch-up. During a latch-up test, a stress current is applied to the pin for 1 ms, called the trigger, and the current at the pin is measured before and after the trigger. The maximum stress test is conducted with the switch set to open, the drain (D) set to VDD, and the source (S) set to VSS, as depicted in Figure 2.

Figure 2. Latch-up test configuration (pretrigger) common variations.

The voltage of the source is then driven beyond VSS until the required trigger current is achieved. If latch-up has not occurred, then the current at the pin returns to its pretrigger value. After latch-up has occurred, the pin continues to draw current without being driven by the trigger voltage. This can only be stopped by powering down the part.

Figure 3 shows the comparison of results between a typical CMOS switch, with epitaxial layer, and the ADG5408 when subjected to a latch-up test. It can be seen that this typical CMOS switch reaches a latch-up current at −290 mA, while the ADG5408 did not latch up until the test ended at −510 mA.

Figure 3. Post latch-up trigger current comparison.