Circuit & System Protection

Varistors for automotive applications

28 March 2024 Circuit & System Protection

TDK Corporation has announced the addition of two new varistors to its AVRH series for automotive applications. Both are characterised by the high electrostatic discharge (ESD) withstanding-voltage demanded to ensure the safe operation of safety-critical automotive functions that comprise advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS).

Both new varistors in the series are compliant with the AEC-Q200 automotive standard and fulfil 25 kV voltage resistance requirement under IEC 61000-4-2 standard in the electrostatic discharge test. They operate within the temperature range of -55 to 150°C. They not only meet anti-ESD requirements, but also have minimal footprints, which is useful as automotive OEMs attempt to design and produce low-SWaP products.

The percentage of electronics in the total BoM of automobiles is increasing as automotive OEMs add and refine ADAS features such as lane departure warning, collision avoidance, and adaptive cruise control. That is true of electric vehicles, hybrids, and traditional gas-fuelled vehicles alike. Auto manufacturers are also working on autonomous driving, which requires the inclusion of even more sophisticated electronics. The ECUs that manage all these new electronic subsystems are particularly susceptible to damage from ESD. The problem is that even the briefest interruptions in safety-critical ADAS and autonomous driving functions are intolerable, and the potential for the problem only increases as more electronics are added to each vehicle. Varistors are fundamental circuit elements for handling severe voltage irregularities. In automotive applications, they protect delicate ECUs, and are instrumental in conforming to automotive safety standards.


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