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IEEE C63.16

2016 Edition, February 1, 2016

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American National Standard Guide for Electrostatic Discharge Test Methodologies and Criteria for Electronic Equipment

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Description / Abstract:

This guide provides electrostatic discharge (ESD) test considerations that a manufacturer should use in assessing the expected ESD effects on products in a wide range of environments and customer use. The focus is well beyond that used to simply show that a product complies with a local, regional, or international standard or regulation. The following are included: charged peripheral testing, connector pin testing, and details on the use of ESD simulators. Finally, suggestions for assuring the safety of those who apply the ESD discharge are provided. The annexes include information on test method selection and more background on air and contact discharge for those who want to further understand the differences in these methods.

This guide is not applicable to manufacturing, service, or maintenance of equipment. Personnel who perform these activities should be trained to avoid ESD effects or damage to the equipment.

In summary, this guide has test techniques beyond those that are commonly used (e.g., IEC 61000-4-2), and hence it can be a significant tool for increasing the immunity of products to ESD events.1


This guide is intended for use by product manufacturers’ internal or third-party electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) test laboratories that perform ESD immunity tests on products. It is intended to supplement and complement test methods commonly used for demonstrating compliance with ESD requirements such as IEC 61000-4-2. For completeness, the test methods and parameters described herein reference that ESD standard. The complementary test methods provided herein extend the application of ESD testing and can serve as a resource in the development of ESD test plans. This extension of testing requires more time than that needed to perform tests to international ESD standards such as IEC 61000-4-2. The payoff is that this additional ESD investigation is expected to significantly reduce the number of customer complaints by revealing responses that are not found with the usual ESD testing prescribed in existing international standards. This guide also recommends test criteria for applying ESD events and for evaluating equipment exposure and responses to ESD. The actual test levels and acceptable performance depend on criteria set by the equipment manufacturer, which might be based on customer ESD performance experience with the product and the risk of failure in a wide variety of product use environments in which ESD events have different probabilities of occurrence.

1 Information on references can be found in Clause 2.