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Author Topic: Arduino - Handling Atmel Chips  (Read 1179 times)
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I always wear a anti- static band, was wondering if anyone had damaged an Atmel chip by not grounding themselves first?

I`m thinking a workshop situation here, where users would be handling the bare components.
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I always wear a anti- static band, was wondering if anyone had damaged an Atmel chip by not grounding themselves first?

I`m thinking a workshop situation here, where users would be handling the bare components.

I've never used a anti-static wrist band and have handled lots of bare Atmel chips and never had a problem but that doesn't mean one should do as I do. Atmel AVR chips do have internal clamping protection diodes on all the I/O pins so I don't think they are as vulnerable as some other CMOS chip might be to ESD damage.

Lefty
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I agree with Lefty, I have handled mine carelessly and never had one fail.  That goes beyond Atmel's chips.  Pretty much every chip I have in stock.  From 555s, 595s, 7219s, Multiplexers, 2560s, and up.
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Ok, just me being ultra cautious then. smiley

Thanks!.
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If you are in the habit of being cautious, then don't stop a good habit.  I am pretty sure that one day I will fry an expensive chip from my carelessness. 
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There is a breadboard project on my desk that has been repeatedly zapped by my overcharged finger.  It has never missed a beat.  Well, the static discharge does wake the processor from power-down sleep mode.  I guess that could count as a "missing a beat".

In my lifetime I've mishandled (very badly a few times) ... well ... let's just say more than one chip and I have never had a failure.  I have first-handle knowledge of only a single failure from mishandling.  However, the chip may actually have been DOA.  We had no proof the chip ever worked.  We assumed the manufacturer had tested the chip.

I certainly do not recommend mishandling chips!  The majority of the time I am reasonably cautious (e.g. using a wrist strap when my computer is open).
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I have zapped a running 328 with a half inch lightning bolt from my finger, and that chip is still running fine a few years later. Not saying it did not cause damage, you can damage the crap out of parts with ESD and they still function within spec, but I wouldnt trust it in something I needed to run long term.

I zapped a bunch of fets at work with an esd gun and logged their resistance, sometimes one good wack is all it took, sometimes a half dozen wacks and little to no damage was done, then we baked them in 85c heat and logged the fallout there, some got worse and died, some did not.

« Last Edit: March 24, 2013, 07:28:40 pm by Osgeld » Logged


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I always wear a anti- static band, was wondering if anyone had damaged an Atmel chip by not grounding themselves first?
Many people cause ESD damage but don't realize it. Damage can still be caused by a ESD event that is low energy enough you do not feel it.

Also, damaged components do not always fail immediately.  They become weak.  It may take a certain amount of stress and/or time before they fail.
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ESD is less likely to occur when the environment is not winter air that has been baked dry by heating systems.
If you encourage everyone to touch something metallic before touching any chips, that will dissipate any residual charge and help prevent any ESD damage.
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