Transient-voltage-suppression diodes, also known as TVS diodes or suppressor diodes, are components used in electronic circuits to protect semiconductor components from voltage pulses. TVS diodes only start to conduct, when a short voltage pulse exceeds a certain voltage threshold. They are built in a parallel circuit to ensure, that no voltage can build up above the breakdown voltage and thus act as a protection for certain components.
Overvoltage events, in which TVS diodes are used, are, for example, lightning strikes or switching operations in the power grid. With the exception of an overvoltage event, TVS diodes are usually completely neutral.
TVS diodes exist in diverse variants
TVS diodes are available in various configurations. This makes them a versatile component. They are available in a screw-thread design, as an array, as a Surface-Mounted Device (SMD) or as a wired component. They are available as bi- or unidirectional components and maximize their protective function through fast switching speeds in the nanosecond range. TVS diodes are used to protect telecommunications circuits, computers, power supplies, numerically controlled machines, aircraft and data processor circuits.