Patents Represented by Attorney W. James Brady, III
  • Patent number: 7567255
    Abstract: A control module for use in an image display system includes a gain module operable to amplify a signal received by the control module and to communicate an amplified signal having at least one clipped pixel. The at least one clipped pixel is capable of generating a color having a hue that is substantially different than a hue of a color that was specified by the signal. The control module further includes a formatter coupled to the gain module. The formatter operable to receive the amplified signal and to adjust the hue of the color associated with the at least one clipped pixel. In one particular embodiment, the hue of the color associated with the at least one clipped pixel is adjusted to substantially the hue of the color that was specified by the signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 30, 2003
    Date of Patent: July 28, 2009
    Assignee: Texas Instruments Incorporated
    Inventor: Roger M. Ikeda
  • Patent number: 7492108
    Abstract: System and method for improving efficiency in driving LEDs. A preferred embodiment comprises a switch current regulator coupled to a current control signal input, the switch current regulator to control an amount of current provided to the LED based upon a magnitude of a voltage on the current control signal input, a switching voltage regulator coupled to the switch current regulator and the LED, the switching voltage regulator to provide current to the LED, and a sensor coupled to the switch current regulator, the LED, and a signal feedback circuit, the sensor to measure status information regarding the switch current regulator and the LED and provides the information to a controller, wherein the status information can be used to adjust the current on the current control signal input.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 11, 2005
    Date of Patent: February 17, 2009
    Assignee: Texas Instruments Incorporated
    Inventors: Getzel Gonzalez Garcia, Stephen Wesley Marshall, Steven Monroe Penn
  • Patent number: 7449765
    Abstract: A MEMS (micro electro-mechanical system) semiconductor device and a method for producing such a device. A preferred embodiment of the present invention comprises the a wafer having a continuous BCS (bondline control structure) surrounding a MEMS active area that is affixed to an interposer layer, which is in turn affixed to a cover to form a sealed cavity over the surface of the MEMS. To fabricate this device, a wafer is populated with MEMS devices. The BCS is formed in the same process step as a device structure, for example a spacer layer. The BCS remains, however, even if all or a portion of this spacer layer is removed. In this way when the reflecting surface of the MEMS device has been formed, an interposer layer may be mounted to the BCS using a filler-less adhesive, and a cover can likewise be affixed to the interposer layer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 27, 2006
    Date of Patent: November 11, 2008
    Assignee: Texas Instruments Incorporated
    Inventors: John Charles Ehmke, James Norman Hall
  • Patent number: 7449358
    Abstract: A method for forming a MEMS device is disclosed, where a final release step is performed just prior to a wafer bonding step to protect the MEMS device from contamination, physical contact, or other deleterious external events. Without additional changes to the MEMS structure between release and wafer bonding and singulation, except for an optional stiction treatment, the MEMS device is best protected and overall process flow is improved. The method is applicable to the production of any MEMS device and is particularly beneficial in the making of fragile micromirrors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 29, 2005
    Date of Patent: November 11, 2008
    Assignee: Texas Instruments Incorporated
    Inventors: Satyadev R. Patel, Andrew G. Huibers, Steve S. Chiang
  • Patent number: 7450297
    Abstract: The present invention provides a method for manufacturing a digital micromirror device and a method for manufacturing a projection display system. The method for manufacturing the digital micromirror device may include providing a material stack, the material stack including a spacer layer having one or more openings therein and located over control circuitry located on or in a semiconductor substrate, a layer of hinge material located over the spacer layer and within the one or more openings, and a layer of hinge support material located over the layer of hinge material and within the one or more openings. The method may further include patterning the layer of hinge support material using photoresist, patterning the layer of hinge material using the patterned layer of hinge support material as a hardmask, and removing the patterned layer of hinge support material from over an upper surface of the patterned layer of hinge material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 15, 2005
    Date of Patent: November 11, 2008
    Assignee: Texas Instruments Incorporated
    Inventors: Anthony DiCarlo, Stephen Meisner
  • Patent number: 7432572
    Abstract: The present invention provides methods of manufacturing a MEMS assembly. In one embodiment, the method includes mounting a MEMS device, such as a MEMS mirror array, on an assembly substrate, where the MEMS device has a sacrificial layer over components formed therein. The method also includes coupling an assembly lid to the assembly substrate and over the MEMS device to create an interior of the MEMS assembly housing the MEMS device, whereby the coupling maintains an opening to the interior of the MEMS assembly. Furthermore, the method includes removing the sacrificial layer through the opening. A MEMS assembly constructed according to a process of the present invention is also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 19, 2005
    Date of Patent: October 7, 2008
    Assignee: Texas Instruments Incorporated
    Inventor: Joshua Malone
  • Patent number: 7422920
    Abstract: A spatial light modulator is disclosed, along with a method for making such a modulator that comprises an array of micromirror devices. The center-to-center distance and the gap between adjacent micromirror devices are determined corresponding to the light source being used so as to optimize optical efficiency and performance quality. The micromirror device comprises a hinge support formed on a substrate and a hinge that is held by the hinge support. A mirror plate is connected to the hinge via a contact, and the distance between the mirror plate and the hinge is determined according to desired maximum rotation angle of the mirror plate, the optimum gap and pitch between the adjacent micromirrors. In a method of fabricating such spatial light modulator, one sacrificial layer is deposited on a substrate followed by forming the mirror plates, and another sacrificial layer is deposited on the mirror plates followed by forming the hinge supports.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 23, 2006
    Date of Patent: September 9, 2008
    Assignee: Texas Instruments Incorporated
    Inventors: Satyadev R. Patel, Andrew G. Huibers
  • Patent number: 7413994
    Abstract: The present invention provides a photoresist removal process and a method for manufacturing an interconnect using the same. One embodiment of the photoresist removal process includes, among other steps, providing a low dielectric constant (k) substrate having a photoresist layer located thereover, and removing the photoresist layer using a plasma which incorporates a gas which includes hydrogen or deuterium and a small amount of oxygen less than about 20 volume percent of the gas. Another embodiment of the photoresist removal process includes, among other steps, providing a low dielectric constant (k) substrate having a photoresist layer located thereover, removing a bulk portion of the photoresist layer using a plasma which incorporates a gas which includes hydrogen or deuterium, and removing a small portion of the photoresist layer using a plasma which incorporates a gas which includes oxygen, wherein the order of the two removing steps is interchangeable.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 8, 2005
    Date of Patent: August 19, 2008
    Assignee: Texas Instruments Incorporated
    Inventors: Patricia Beauregard Smith, Laura M. Matz, Vinay Shah
  • Patent number: 7414296
    Abstract: The present invention provides method of manufacturing a metal-insulator-metal capacitor (100). A method of manufacturing includes depositing a first refractory metal layer (105) over a semiconductor substrate (110). The first refractory metal layer (105) over a capacitor region (200) of the semiconductor substrate (110) is removed and a second refractory metal (300) is deposited over the capacitor region (200). Other aspects of the present invention include a metal-insulator-metal capacitor (900) and a method of manufacturing an integrated circuit (1000).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 13, 2006
    Date of Patent: August 19, 2008
    Assignee: Texas Instruments Incorporated
    Inventors: Tony Thanh Phan, Farris D. Malone
  • Patent number: 7415378
    Abstract: The present invention provides a method for analyzing critical defects in analog integrated circuits. The method for analyzing critical defects, among other possible steps, may include fault testing a power field effect transistor (120) portion of an analog integrated circuit (115) to obtain electrical failure data. The method may further include performing an in-line optical inspection of the analog integrated circuit (115) to obtain physical defect data, and correlating the electrical failure data and physical defect data to analyze critical defects.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 31, 2005
    Date of Patent: August 19, 2008
    Assignee: Texas Instruments incorporated
    Inventors: Martin B. Mollat, Milind V. Khandekar, Tony T. Phan, Kyle M. Flessner
  • Patent number: 7411717
    Abstract: A spatial light modulator comprises an array of micromirror devices each of which has a reflective and deflectable mirror plates. The mirror plates are moved between an ON and OFF state during operation, wherein the OFF state is a state wherein the mirror plate is not parallel to the substrate on which the mirror plate is formed. The micromirror device may have an ON state stopper for limiting the rotation of the mirror plate at the ON state angle, but does not have an OFF state stopper. The non-zero OFF state is achieved by attaching the mirror plate to a deformable hinge held by a hinge support that is curved at the natural resting state.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 21, 2005
    Date of Patent: August 12, 2008
    Assignee: Texas Instruments Incorporated
    Inventors: Satyadev Patel, Andrew Huibers
  • Patent number: 7406178
    Abstract: The present invention is a digital dynamic compression or automatic gain control (AGC) (10) adapted for use in high quality audio and hearing aids applications. An efficient digital AGC design employs two compact ROM-based tables (ROM_CSD, ROM_SPL) in addition to two comparators (COMP_A, COMP_B) and several registers (REG_A, REG_B, ADDR_A, ADDR_B). While one ROM stores the values of discrete input signal levels, the other contains gain codes based on a canonical signed digit (CSD) coding approach that leads to a very simple gain multiplier (20). In many cases an extremely compact table for gain values can be achieved by reusing a single small-size ROM that behaves like one that is several time larger. Two design examples are shown to expound the insights of the new digital AGC design. For the less-than-half-dB-gain-step cases only two adders are required for the multiplier whereas just three adders are needed in the situations with less than quarter-dB gain steps.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 6, 2001
    Date of Patent: July 29, 2008
    Assignee: Texas Instruments Incorporated
    Inventors: Zhongnong Jiang, James R. Hochschild
  • Patent number: 7405856
    Abstract: A display system includes a light source 110 and a spatial light modulator 122 located to receive light from the light source. The spatial light modulator (e.g., a DMD) includes a number of independently controllable elements that are activated for a period of time to display light of a desired brightness. A light sensor 136 is located to determine a characteristic of light from the light source 110. A control circuit 126 is coupled to the spatial light modulator 122 and controls the period of time that the independently controllable elements are activated. This period of time is based at least in part by an input received from the light sensor 136.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 15, 2007
    Date of Patent: July 29, 2008
    Assignee: Texas Instruments Incorporated
    Inventors: Donald B. Doherty, Daniel J. Morgan
  • Patent number: 7405860
    Abstract: A projection system, a spatial light modulator, and a method for forming a micromirror array such as for a projection display are disclosed. The spatial light modulator can have two substrates bonded together with one of the substrates comprising a micro-mirror array. The two substrates can be bonded at the wafer level after depositing a getter material and/or solid or liquid lubricant on one or both of the wafers if desired. In one embodiment of the invention, one of the substrates is a light transmissive substrate and a light absorbing layer is provided on the light transmissive substrate to selectively block light from passing through the substrate. The light absorbing layer can form a pattern, such as a frame around an array of micro-mirrors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 9, 2005
    Date of Patent: July 29, 2008
    Assignee: Texas Instruments Incorporated
    Inventors: Andrew G. Huibers, Satyadev R. Patel
  • Patent number: 7404909
    Abstract: The invention provides a method for manufacturing a microelectronic device and a microelectronic device. The method for manufacturing the microelectronic device, without limitation, may include forming a first mirror layer over and within one or more openings in a sacrificial spacer layer, and forming a dielectric layer over an upper surface of the first mirror layer and within the one or more openings. The method may further include subjecting the dielectric layer to an etch, the etch removing the dielectric layer from the upper surface and leaving dielectric portions along sidewalls of the one or more openings, and forming a second mirror layer over the first mirror layer and within the one or more openings, the dielectric portions separating the first mirror layer and the second mirror layer along the sidewalls.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 6, 2006
    Date of Patent: July 29, 2008
    Assignee: Texas Instruments Incorporated
    Inventor: David A. Rothenbury
  • Patent number: 7403324
    Abstract: A spatial light modulator has an array of reflective surfaces of deflectable mirror plates. For improving the reflectivity of the mirror plates, layers that are preferably transmissive to visible light are provided on the reflective surfaces of the mirror plates. The layers may have different thicknesses and/or refractive indices to the visible light to optimize the reflectivity of the mirror plates.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 25, 2006
    Date of Patent: July 22, 2008
    Assignee: Texas Instruments Incorporated
    Inventor: Andrew G. Huibers
  • Patent number: 7402458
    Abstract: An improved window frame and window piece for a micromirror assembly is disclosed herein. The window frame includes a stress-relieving contour positioned in the middle of the frame that can absorb the mechanical stresses applied to the window frame from the ceramic base and from the window piece. The window frame may be comprised of a single piece of sheet metal that has been stamped to include a stress-relieving contour. The stress-relieving contour may be comprised of a variety of shapes, including a ā€œUā€ shape, an inverted ā€œUā€ shape, a curved step shape, or other combinations thereof.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 28, 2005
    Date of Patent: July 22, 2008
    Assignee: Texas Instruments Incorporated
    Inventors: Bradley Morgan Haskett, John Patrick O'Connor, Steven E. Smith, Mark Myron Miller, Ivan Kmecko, Jwei Wien Liu, Edward Carl Fisher, Frank O. Armstrong, Daniel C. Estabrook, Jeffrey E. Faris
  • Patent number: 7402878
    Abstract: A novel method of packaging electronic devices (e.g. any device that receives or transmits electronic signals) including microelectromechanical devices, semiconductor devices, light emitting devices, light modulating devices, light modulating devices, and light detecting device has been provided herein. The electronic device is placed between two substrates, at least one of which has a cavity for holding the electronic device. The two substrates are then bonded and hermetically sealed with a sealing medium. The adhesion of the sealing medium to the substrates, especially when one of the two substrates is ceramic, can be improved by applying a metallization layer to the surface of the substrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 24, 2004
    Date of Patent: July 22, 2008
    Assignee: Texas Instruments Incorporated
    Inventor: Terry Tarn
  • Patent number: 7396716
    Abstract: The present invention provides a method of fabricating a microelectronics device. In one aspect, the method comprises forming a capping layer 610 over gate structures 230 located over a microelectronics substrate 210 wherein the gate structures 230 include sidewall spacers 515 and have a doped region 525 located between them. A protective layer 710 is placed over the capping layer 610 and the doped region 525, and a portion of the protective layer 710 and capping layer 610 that are located over the gate structures are removed to expose a top surface of the gate structures 230. A remaining portion of the protective layer 710 and capping layer 610 remains over the doped region 525. With the top surface of the gate structures 230 exposed, metal is incorporated into the gate structures to form gate electrodes 230.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 11, 2005
    Date of Patent: July 8, 2008
    Assignee: Texas Instruments Incorporated
    Inventors: Freidoon Mehrad, Shaofeng Yu, Joe G. Tran
  • Patent number: 7394140
    Abstract: Disclosed herein is a micromirror array device that comprises an array of reflective deflectable mirror plates each being associated with one single addressing electrode to be deflected to an ON state angle. A light transmissive electrode is disposed proximate to the mirror plates for deflecting the mirror plates to a non-zero OFF angle. The mirror plates are arranged in the array with a center-to-centre distance of 10.17 microns or less.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 19, 2005
    Date of Patent: July 1, 2008
    Assignee: Texas Instruments Incorporated
    Inventors: Satyadev Patel, Andrew Huibers, Chris Spindt, Peter H Heureux