B&B Electronics: You Need Surge Suppression in USB Environments
Any time you connect two devices with copper cable, you’re creating a pathway that electrical transients can follow. It’s not likely to be a problem in USB desktop applications, where the distances between connected devices are small, and the devices are all likely to be connected to the same power source with the same ground reference. But when you move USB off the desktop and into the real world, it’s time to take precautionary measures. You need surge suppression.
Surge suppressors direct excess energy away from protected ports and divert it to a ground connection. They are designed to go to work when a specified voltage (the clamping voltage) is exceeded. The excess energy is shunted through the protection devices to the cable shield, which conducts the energy to the system (PC) ground.
The three most common surge suppression devices are transient voltage suppressors, metal oxide varistors, and gas discharge tubes. Both heavy-duty three-stage and less expensive single-stage suppressors use a combination of these suppression devices. If the suppression devices have an adequate ground connection, they should still be able to provide excellent protection against most transients.
Find out more about Surge Protection in USB Environments here: