Patents Assigned to Alien Technology Corporation
  • Patent number: 9218519
    Abstract: Methods and apparatuses for selecting a subset of RFID tags are provided in some embodiments. These methods and apparatuses utilize the susceptibility to light by persistent nodes found in passive tags. Light can be used to intentionally reduce persistence times in a particular subset tags or even an individual tag. Then, persistent nodes can be used as a selection criterion to distinguish previously illuminated tags from non-illuminated tags. In other embodiments, a power circuit receives a RF input source and generates a direct current (DC) output voltage. The circuit includes a bias circuit to supply a gate to source bias, which is independent of the DC output voltage. The circuit further includes a voltage multiplier circuit that is coupled to the bias circuit. The voltage multiplier circuit has MOS transistors with one transistor to receive the gate to source bias.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 8, 2013
    Date of Patent: December 22, 2015
    Assignee: Alien Technology Corporation
    Inventors: Mark Alfred Hadley, James Harold Atherton, Jay Tu, Edward John Boling, John Stephen Smith
  • Publication number: 20150015375
    Abstract: An apparatus and method to identify devices including a first set of commands to identify devices in a first state and a second set of commands to identify devices in a second state, wherein devices identified in the first state are placed in the second state and devices identified in the second state are placed in the first state.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 21, 2014
    Publication date: January 15, 2015
    Applicant: Alien Technology Corporation
    Inventor: John Stephen Smith
  • Patent number: 8844830
    Abstract: An RFID transponder in one embodiment comprises a radio frequency (RF) transceiver, processing logic coupled to the RF transceiver, a switch coupled to the processing logic, a tunneling device coupled to the switch and a differential sensing circuit having a first input coupled to the tunneling device and a second input coupled to a predetermined reference voltage. In one embodiment, the tunneling device can discharge to a voltage below the predetermined reference voltage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 20, 2012
    Date of Patent: September 30, 2014
    Assignee: Alien Technology Corporation
    Inventor: John Stephen Smith
  • Patent number: 8810402
    Abstract: Methods and apparatuses for activating an electronic tag with an identifier via an access to a storage area of the electronic tag without database or authentication operations are described. The storage area may be accessed as a scratch pad memory. The identifier can identify an inventory including a plurality of articles. One of the articles is attached with the electronic tag. The electronic tag is active if the identifier is stored in the storage area. When the electronic tag is located within a proximity of the electronic gate device, the electronic tag may be inspected wirelessly from the electronic gate device. An alarm may be activated or caused via the electronic gate device if the inspection indicates the electronic tag is active.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 20, 2012
    Date of Patent: August 19, 2014
    Assignee: Alien Technology Corporation
    Inventor: John Stephen Smith
  • Patent number: 8768952
    Abstract: Embodiments of the present invention include systems with Readers and Tags in which a Reader queries the Tags with a parameter that includes a level of probability of reply according to which the Tags individually and randomly decide whether or not to reply. In one embodiment, the Tags can switch between two states: A and B. The query command also specifies a state (A or B) so that only the Tags in the specified state can reply. After successfully sending the Tag identification data from a Tag to the Reader, the Tag switches to the other state from the specified state. In one embodiment, the operations about the two states are symmetric. In one embodiment, the Tags can remember the parameters used in a query so that a short form of query command can be used to repeat the query with the same query parameters.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 3, 2010
    Date of Patent: July 1, 2014
    Assignee: Alien Technology Corporation
    Inventors: John Stephen Smith, Curtis L. Carrender
  • Patent number: 8742899
    Abstract: An apparatus and method to identify devices including a first set of commands to identify devices in a first state and a second set of commands to identify devices in a second state, wherein devices identified in the first state are placed in the second state and devices identified in the second state are placed in the first state.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 2011
    Date of Patent: June 3, 2014
    Assignee: Alien Technology Corporation
    Inventor: John Stephen Smith
  • Patent number: 8516683
    Abstract: Methods and apparatuses for an electronic assembly. The electronic assembly has a first object created and separated from a host substrate. The first object has a first electrical circuitry therein. A carrier substrate is coupled to the first object wherein the first object is being recessed below a surface of the carrier substrate. The carrier substrate further includes a first carrier connection pad and a second carrier connection pad that interconnect with the first object using metal connectors. A receiving substrate, which is substantially planar, including a second electrical circuitry, a first receiving connection pad, and a second receiving connection pad that interconnect with the second electrical circuitry using the metal connectors. The carrier substrate is coupled to the receiving substrate using the connection pads mentioned.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 14, 2009
    Date of Patent: August 27, 2013
    Assignee: Alien Technology Corporation
    Inventors: Thomas Lloyd Credelle, Glenn Gengel, Roger Green Stewart, William Hill Joseph
  • Publication number: 20130187762
    Abstract: In an RFID system having at least one tag and at least one reader, a tag and a reader can, in one embodiment, use a pair of keys, known to both the tag and the reader, to restrict the interaction of the tag and the reader so that tags having the pair of keys interact only with readers that use the pair of keys.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 28, 2012
    Publication date: July 25, 2013
    Applicant: Alien Technology Corporation
    Inventor: Alien Technology Corporation
  • Publication number: 20130187764
    Abstract: Methods and apparatuses that receive an analog signal to provide a challenge to a device are described. The challenge may include a digital selection and an analog attribute of the analog signal. The analog attribute may be associated with an attribute value in an analog domain. Physical characteristics of the device may be evaluated according the analog challenge. A digital response may be generated as a result of the evaluation responding to the analog challenge. The combination of the digital challenge, the analog challenge, and the digital response may authenticate the device.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 20, 2012
    Publication date: July 25, 2013
    Applicant: ALIEN TECHNOLOGY CORPORATION
    Inventor: John Stephen Smith
  • Publication number: 20130187778
    Abstract: Methods and apparatuses for activating an electronic tag with an identifier via an access to a storage area of the electronic tag without database or authentication operations are described. The storage area may be accessed as a scratch pad memory. The identifier can identify an inventory including a plurality of articles. One of the articles is attached with the electronic tag. The electronic tag is active if the identifier is stored in the storage area. When the electronic tag is located within a proximity of the electronic gate device, the electronic tag may be inspected wirelessly from the electronic gate device. An alarm may be activated or caused via the electronic gate device if the inspection indicates the electronic tag is active.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 20, 2012
    Publication date: July 25, 2013
    Applicant: ALIEN TECHNOLOGY CORPORATION
    Inventor: John Stephen Smith
  • Patent number: 8471709
    Abstract: An RFID device. The device comprises a conductive layer formed on a first substrate. An opening line (or two or more opening lines) is formed in the conductive layer to make the conductive layer a part of an antenna structure. An integrated circuit chip is placed over at least a portion the opening line and coupled to the conductive layer. The integrated circuit chip is electrically interconnected to the conductive layer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 29, 2010
    Date of Patent: June 25, 2013
    Assignee: Alien Technology Corporation
    Inventor: Curt Carrender
  • Patent number: 8464957
    Abstract: A tag receives a first code transmitted by an RFID reader. The first code is compared with a second code stored within the tag. If the first code and the second code match, the tag transmits a third code to the RFID reader.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 18, 2011
    Date of Patent: June 18, 2013
    Assignee: Alien Technology Corporation
    Inventors: Curtis L. Carrender, Roger G. Stewart, John H. Rolin, Ronald Gilbert
  • Publication number: 20130113610
    Abstract: Methods and apparatuses for configuring antennae of radio frequency identification reader systems. In one aspect of an embodiment, a radio frequency identification (RFID) reader system, includes: a receiver; a radio frequency (RF) source for signal transmission; and a switch matrix coupled with the receiver and the radio frequency sources to selectively couple the receiver and the radio frequency source to a plurality of non-collocated antennae. When in a first mode, the switch matrix connects the radio frequency source to a first one of the antennae for signal transmission and the receiver to a second one of the antennae for signal reception; and when in a second mode, the switch matrix connects the first one of the antennae for signal reception and, in one example, the second one or another one of the antennae to the RF source for signal transmission.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 28, 2012
    Publication date: May 9, 2013
    Applicant: Alien Technology Corporation
    Inventor: Alien Technology Corporation
  • Patent number: 8395505
    Abstract: Methods and apparatuses for selecting a subset of RFID tags are provided in some embodiments. These methods and apparatuses utilize the susceptibility to light by persistent nodes found in passive tags. Light can be used to intentionally reduce persistence times in a particular subset tags or even an individual tag. Then, persistent nodes can be used as a selection criterion to distinguish previously illuminated tags from non-illuminated tags. In other embodiments, a power circuit receives a RF input source and generates a direct current (DC) output voltage. The circuit includes a bias circuit to supply a gate to source bias, which is independent of the DC output voltage. The circuit further includes a voltage multiplier circuit that is coupled to the bias circuit. The voltage multiplier circuit has MOS transistors with one transistor to receive the gate to source bias.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 7, 2009
    Date of Patent: March 12, 2013
    Assignee: Alien Technology Corporation
    Inventors: Mark Alfred Hadley, James Harold Atherton, Jay Tu, Edward John Boling, John Stephen Smith
  • Patent number: 8350701
    Abstract: Methods and apparatuses for configuring antennae of radio frequency identification reader systems. In one aspect of an embodiment, a radio frequency identification (RFID) reader system, includes: a receiver; a radio frequency (RF) source for signal transmission; and a switch matrix coupled with the receiver and the radio frequency source to selectively couple the receiver and the radio frequency source to a plurality of non-collocated antennae. When in a first mode, the switch matrix connects the radio frequency source to a first one of the antennae for signal transmission and the receiver to a second one of the antennae for signal reception; and when in a second mode, the switch matrix connects the first one of the antennae for signal reception and, in one example, the second one or another one of the antennae to the RF source for signal transmission.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 29, 2009
    Date of Patent: January 8, 2013
    Assignee: Alien Technology Corporation
    Inventors: Curtis L. Carrender, John Michael Price
  • Patent number: 8350703
    Abstract: A Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tag. The RFID tag comprises a flexible substrate and an integrated circuit embedded within the flexible substrate. The top surface of the integrated circuit is coplanar with the flexible substrate. At least one conductive element is formed on the flexible substrate. The conductive element is electrically connected to the integrated circuit. The conductive element serves as an antenna for the RFID tag.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 10, 2011
    Date of Patent: January 8, 2013
    Assignee: Alien Technology Corporation
    Inventors: Glenn W. Gengel, Mark A. Hadley, Torn Pounds, Kenneth D. Schatz, Paul S. Drzaic
  • Patent number: 8340581
    Abstract: Methods and apparatuses for removing unwanted noise by a radio frequency identification (RFID) interrogator are provided. The interrogator transmits a transmitted signal while receiving a received signal. The received signal can include backscatter modulated signals from one or more RFID tags, as well as unmodulated reflections of the transmitted signal from the environment. The unmodulated reflections are undesirable and may make tag signal extraction difficult. A canceling signal is summed with the received signal to cancel or reduce the unmodulated reflections prior to tag signal extraction. In a specific embodiment, a phase shifted, amplitude adjusted reflection of the transmit signal is used by a directional coupler as the canceling signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 12, 2009
    Date of Patent: December 25, 2012
    Assignee: Alien Technology Corporation
    Inventor: John Stephen Smith
  • Patent number: 8284034
    Abstract: Methods and apparatuses for identifying devices, such as RF tags, are described. In one exemplary embodiment, a reader identifies tags without requiring or determining whether a response to an interrogation was a single response from a single tag or multiple responses from multiple tags. In another exemplary embodiment, a method is performed by a tag in an identification system, and the method includes receiving a first data from a reader, and correlating the first data with a first corresponding portion of the tag's identification code, and specifying a match if the first data matches the first corresponding portion, and receiving second data which, combined with the first data, is correlated with a second corresponding portion of the tag's identification code.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 20, 2007
    Date of Patent: October 9, 2012
    Assignee: Alien Technology Corporation
    Inventors: Roger G. Stewart, John Stephen Smith
  • Patent number: 8279047
    Abstract: An identification system includes a reader and one or more tags. The reader identifies tags such as radio frequency (RF) tags. The system divides a number space into n bins, wherein each bin is associated with m unique bits of the number space, and the number space contains the identification codes of the tags. A command is issued to test v bits of the number space. A response is received from a tag, wherein the response occurs when a first portion of an identification code of the tag matches the v bits of the number space, a timing of the response corresponds to a particular bin and m unique bits associated with the particular bin correspond to a second portion of the identification code.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 10, 2007
    Date of Patent: October 2, 2012
    Assignee: Alien Technology Corporation
    Inventors: Curt Carrender, John M. Price, Frederick A. Nylander, John H. Rolin, Roger G. Stewart
  • Patent number: 8102244
    Abstract: An apparatus and method to identify devices including a first set of commands to identify devices in a first state and a second set of commands to identify devices in a second state, wherein devices identified in the first state are placed in the second state and devices identified in the second state are placed in the first state.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 9, 2004
    Date of Patent: January 24, 2012
    Assignee: Alien Technology Corporation
    Inventor: John Stephen Smith