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I'm looking at the Sparkfun USB-C PD Board schematic and noticed this portion under ESD protection as seen below.

enter image description here

It looks like two Zener diodes facing each other thus prevent current flow in either direction. I looked at the properties and it said TVS diode. But with some lookup on the TVS diode, it didn't give me it's importance in the role here.

Can someone explain what this diode exactly is with this symbol and what its role is in the overall function.

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2 Answers 2

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It’s a bidirectional TVS or transient voltage suppressor. Used for ESD (electro static discharge) and other types of surge protection.

Just regard it as the AC equivalent of a zener diode in that it will start to conduct if the magnitude of the applied voltage is above a certain level.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Okay. Thanks for the analogy of zener diodde for AC. I'll have to look more into it then. \$\endgroup\$
    – Agriculex
    Commented Apr 28, 2020 at 20:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ Wow @Andy you are superb. \$\endgroup\$
    – Alex
    Commented Apr 28, 2020 at 23:11
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It's exactly what it looks like, two Zeners back to back. It allows for some voltage fluctuation in either direction, but clamps it at Vz+Vf. TVS stands for Transient Voltage Suppressor.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the input. I'll look more into it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Agriculex
    Commented Apr 28, 2020 at 20:15

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