ESD (Electrostatic Discharge) has become an increasing problem on electronic devices. The electronics industry is always looking for ways to improve the reliability of electronic devices by enhancing their test methods. The industry has found that the current ESD test methods do not encompass all possible scenarios to which electronic devices are exposed at the customer site. This paper describes a novel method to bridge the gap between current system level ESD specifications and customer real world situations. Field failure investigations led us to discover a new customer situation where ESD is induced on a computer system through a peripheral/cable that is already attached (different than hot-plug event). To simulate this scenario, ESD was injected directly into the signal pins of the bus being tested, creating what we call the DCD (Direct Contact Discharge) test methodology. This paper compares DCD against the current ESD standards and demonstrates that introducing DCD into the current ESD testing methodology will significantly lower the system field failures. DCD is not a replacement for current ESD testing practices in the industry; DCD is a complement that allows a more inclusive ESD test coverage

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