What is a Transient Voltage Suppressor (TVS) diode?
A transient voltage suppressor (TVS) is an avalanche diode specially designed to clamp overvoltages and dissipate high transient power surges. ST’s Transil™ protection devices are able to shunt a high current surge for a short duration.
Solid-state, monolithic PN junction devices, transient voltage suppressors are used alongside sensitive semiconductors in a parallel protection configuration to ensure protection against electrical overstress (EOS) or electrostatic discharges (ESD).
TVS devices offer many advantages compared to a metal-oxide varistor (MOV) because there are no ageing effects, which ensures stability over time for better reliability.
Providing higher quality and robustness, TVS designs are preferred over Zener solutions, which are rated with low DC current and are not specified for surges.
High-performance TVS devices
ST’s TVS portfolio provides a unique choice of high-performance devices, available in industrial- and automotive-grade (AEC-Q101) versions, to ensure compliance with all regulatory requirements and standards.
Our latest generation of TVS diodes delivers market-leading power density, designed for a large diversity of industrial and automotive applications.
TVS: two operating modes to best fit your application
Transient voltage suppressors have one of two different operating modes:
- Normal mode, where the device is transparent for the application (low leakage current)
- Surge suppression mode, where the over-voltage is cut at the clamping voltage value
In this video, we explain why it is important to protect against electrostatic discharges. We give a quick demonstration to show exactly what happens when you shoot at a microcontroller with an ESD gun!