ICOP’s IEC/EN 61000-4-2 ESD (Electrostatic Discharge immunity) testing

February 17, 2022

The static electricity generated in life can be a devastating disaster to an integrated circuit with a voltage resistance of several tens of volts.
The damage caused by static discharge to electronic products is directly observable, such as screen defects, melting or evaporation of metal circuits, changes in component resistance, destruction or breakdown of the oxide layer, and even the impact on the microprocessor causing the controller to mistake.

Electrostatic discharge (ESD) immunity testing is a critical electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) test, and IEC61000-4-2 is one of the standards used to test the ESD immunity of electronic equipment.



The object of this test is to establish a common and reproducible basis for evaluating the performance of electrical and electronic equipment when subjected to electrostatic discharges. In addition, it includes electrostatic discharges which may occur from personnel to objects near vital equipment.


Test Levels

  • Severity Level
    Level 1 2 3 4 X
    CD 2KV 4KV 6KV 8KV Special
    AD 2KV 4KV 8KV 15KV Special

    ∗ X is an open level.

  • Waveform Parameters
    Level Voltage (KV) First peak current (±10%) Ip Rise time Tr Current at 30 (±10%) I1 Current at 60 (±10%) I2
    1 2 7.5A 0.7~1ns 4 2
    2 4 15A 0.7~1ns 8 4
    3 6 22.5A 0.7~1ns 12 6
    4 8 30A 0.7~1ns 16 8

    ∗ Note: This table is simplified for the purpose of giving a quick overview. For detail as the official IEC 61000-4-2.

ESD generator features and performance

Charge capacitance 150pF (typical)
Discharge resistance 330Ω (typical)
Charge resistance 50MΩ~100MΩ
Output voltage Contact discharge/ Air discharge 8KV / 15KV
Output voltage display accuracy ±5%
Output voltage polarity Positive and negative (switchable)
Holding time 5 seconds (less)
Discharge operation mode Single shot (discharge interval 1 second or more)
Waveform of discharge current Refer to the below figure

ICOP’s IEC61000-4-2 ESD immunity test

Test set-up for table-top equipment, laboratory tests: A wooden table of 0.8m height shall be set on the ground plane. 1.6m x 0.8 m horizontal and 0.5m x 0.5 m vertical coupling planes shall be put on the table. Insulating support of 0.5 mm thickness shall be inserted between the EUT/cables and the horizontal coupling plane.


Test Description:

  • Environment
    1. Temperature: 15 – 35℃
    2. Humidity: 30 – 60%
    3. Pressure: 86 – 106Kpa

Testing Method:

The electrostatic discharge test consists of direct discharge and indirect discharge.

  • Direct discharge
    The direct discharge is mainly to simulate the phenomenon of the human body or other power with direct discharge to the equipment, which includes contact discharge and air discharge:
    1. Contact discharge: mainly focuses on the exposed metal part of the equipment surface.
    2. Air discharge: mainly for the surface of the equipment covered with insulating material.
  • Indirect discharge
    The coupling plate is at a certain distance from the equipment. It is grounded through two 470k ohm resistors, so when the coupling plate is discharged, the static electricity on the coupling plate does not leak to the ground immediately. The coupling plate is used as a static power source to form a static electric field to interfere with the equipment.

The test results are classified according to the specifications and operating conditions of the EUT as follows.

  1. Normal operation within the specification range.
  2. Self-recoverable temporary degradation or reduction in function and performance.
  3. Temporary deterioration or reduction in function due to operator intervention or system restart required.
  4. Deterioration or reduction of function that cannot be recovered due to mechanical and software damage, or loss of data.

The product is considered to have a good monitoring result if it meets the functional requirements specified in the product specification. The test report must contain test conditions and test results.


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