Patents Assigned to Linfinity Microelectronics
  • Publication number: 20030176042
    Abstract: The invention relates to the protection of devices in a monolithic chip fabricated from an epitaxial wafer, such as a wafer for a Group III-V compound semiconductor or a wafer for a Group IV compound semiconductor. Devices fabricated from Group III-V compound semiconductors offer higher speed and better isolation than comparable devices from silicon semiconductors. Semiconductor devices can be permanently damaged when exposed to an undesired voltage transient such as electrostatic discharge (ESD). However, conventional techniques developed for silicon devices are not compatible with processing techniques for Group III-V compound semiconductors, such as gallium arsenide (GaAs). Embodiments of the invention advantageously include transient voltage protection circuits that are relatively efficiently and reliably manufactured to protect sensitive devices from undesired voltage transients.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 30, 2002
    Publication date: September 18, 2003
    Applicant: Linfinity Microelectronics, Inc.
    Inventor: Vrej Barkhordarian
  • Patent number: 6556067
    Abstract: A multiple output regulating charge pump includes a load current regulator to balance currents in multiple branches of at least one load, such as light emitting diodes in a parallel configuration. The load current regulator includes current mirror circuits to provide substantially identical currents to the respective light emitting diodes, thereby producing uniform light from each of the light emitting diodes. The multiple output charge pump includes a charge storage component that is alternately charged during a charge cycle and discharged during a discharge cycle. The charge pump provides current to a second load during the charge cycle and to a first load during a discharge cycle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 12, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 29, 2003
    Assignee: Linfinity Microelectronics
    Inventor: George C. Henry
  • Patent number: 6522111
    Abstract: A linear voltage regulator, such as a low-dropout regulator, supplies power to one or more digital circuits within a computer system. The low-dropout regulator provides a substantially constant output voltage independent of loading conditions. The low-dropout regulator is biased at a relatively low operating current for steady-state operation to improve power efficiency of the low-dropout regulator. During a loading condition change, an adaptive biasing circuit senses the loading condition change and provides additional biasing current to momentarily increase the operating current of the low-dropout regulator to improve transient response.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 28, 2001
    Date of Patent: February 18, 2003
    Assignee: Linfinity Microelectronics
    Inventors: Ali Enayat Zadeh, Yung-I Chang
  • Patent number: 6522558
    Abstract: A charge pump receives a direct current input voltage at a first level and provides a substantially constant direct current output voltage at a second level. Variations of the input voltage level above and below the output voltage level are handled seamlessly by a continuous mode control scheme that controls a charging current of the charge pump. The charge pump includes an error amplifier which produces a control signal based on a comparison of a feedback voltage proportional to the output voltage and a reference voltage. The control signal controls a variable current source to regulate the charging current provided to a charge storage component.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 12, 2001
    Date of Patent: February 18, 2003
    Assignee: Linfinity Microelectronics
    Inventor: George C. Henry
  • Patent number: 6469922
    Abstract: An efficient power conversion circuit for driving a fluorescent lamp uses a minimum pulse generator circuit to control the minimum on-time of a time modulated signal to increase the dimming range of the fluorescent lamp operating over a wide range of temperature and supply voltage. A minimum number of lamp current cycles with respective amplitudes above a preset threshold is typically required to avoid flickering or shimmering during minimum brightness. The minimum pulse generator circuit counts the lamp current cycles and adjusts the on-time accordingly to guarantee the minimum number of cycles with respective amplitudes above a preset threshold under all operating conditions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 4, 2001
    Date of Patent: October 22, 2002
    Assignee: Linfinity Microelectronics
    Inventor: Hwangsoo Choi
  • Patent number: 6356063
    Abstract: A transient recovery circuit in a switching regulator responds to relatively quick changes in load currents to suppress output voltage overshoots or undershoots. The transient recovery circuit operates independently of a regular feedback circuit and overrides a control voltage from the regular feedback circuit to control the duty cycle of a pulse-width modulation circuit in the switching regulator during transient conditions. The transient recovery circuit is inactive during non-transient conditions. The transient recovery circuit can be used in a single phase or a multiphase switching regulator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 7, 2000
    Date of Patent: March 12, 2002
    Assignee: Linfinity Microelectronics
    Inventor: Steven W. Brooks
  • Patent number: 6356151
    Abstract: An improved class D power amplifier is disclosed. Instead of using prior art triangle waves a ramp signal having a first state of about 90% or greater is used and a second state for the remainder of the cycle. Further, the amplifier includes flip-flops and amplifiers with hysteresis to reduce switching noise. Also, level shifting circuitry is provided for shifting the level of the input signal in response to both DC and AC variations in the power supply and to provide power supply rejection. Still further, multiple channels may be used with all of the channels synchronized to the same timing source.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 1, 1999
    Date of Patent: March 12, 2002
    Assignee: Linfinity Microelectronics
    Inventor: Mehmet K. Nalbant
  • Patent number: 6307765
    Abstract: All efficient power conversion circuit for driving a fluorescent lamp uses a minimum pulse generator circuit to control the minimum on-time of a time modulated signal to increase the dimming range of the fluorescent lamp operating over a wide range of temperature and supply voltage. A minimum number of lamp current cycles with respective amplitudes above a preset threshold is typically required to avoid flickering or shimmering during minimum brightness. The minimum pulse generator circuit counts the lamp current cycles and adjusts the on-time accordingly to guarantee the minimum number of cycles with respective amplitudes above a preset threshold under all operating conditions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 22, 2000
    Date of Patent: October 23, 2001
    Assignee: Linfinity Microelectronics
    Inventor: Hwangsoo Choi
  • Patent number: 6292378
    Abstract: An efficient multiphase switching regulator uses sensed voltages to achieve accurate forced current sharing and programmable current sharing. The voltage waveforms at the input of respective inductors are low-pass filtered to produce sensed voltages which are proportional to the duty cycles of the respective voltage waveforms. The sensed voltages are compared. The comparisons are used to adjust PWM circuits which control the duty cycles of the voltage waveforms of the respective inductors. Substantially identical sensed voltages at the inputs of identical inductors result in substantially identical output currents from respective inductors. The ratio of the output currents from respective inductors can be changed by adjusting a variable resistor that changes the fractions of respective sensed voltages being compared.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 7, 2000
    Date of Patent: September 18, 2001
    Assignee: Linfinity Microelectronics
    Inventors: Steven W. Brooks, Louis Joseph Maggiolino
  • Patent number: 6285571
    Abstract: An efficient multiphase switching regulator uses sensed voltages to achieve accurate forced current sharing and programmable current sharing. The voltage waveforms at the input of respective inductors are low-pass filtered to produce sensed voltages which are proportional to the duty cycles of the respective voltage waveforms. The sensed voltages are compared. The comparisons are used to adjust PWM circuits which control the duty cycles of the voltage waveforms of the respective inductors. Substantially identical sensed voltages at the inputs of identical inductors result in substantially identical output currents from respective inductors. The ratio of the output currents from respective inductors can be changed by adjusting a variable resistor that changes the fractions of respective sensed voltages being compared.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 7, 2000
    Date of Patent: September 4, 2001
    Assignee: Linfinity Microelectronics
    Inventors: Steven W. Brooks, Louis Joseph Maggiolino
  • Patent number: 6229388
    Abstract: An improved class D power amplifier is disclosed. Instead of using prior art triangle waves, a ramp signal having a first state of about 90% or greater is used and a second state for the remainder of the cycle. Further, the amplifier includes flip-flops and amplifiers with hysteresis to reduce switching noise. Also, level shifting circuitry is provided for shifting the level of the input signal in response to both DC and AC variations in the power supply and to provide power supply rejection. Still further, multiple channels may be used with all of the channels synchronized to the same timing source.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 1, 1999
    Date of Patent: May 8, 2001
    Assignee: Linfinity Microelectronics
    Inventor: Mehmet K. Nalbant
  • Patent number: 6198234
    Abstract: A dimmable, backlight system provides increased light output at low temperatures and provides a full range of dimming. Both current amplitude control and current duty cycle control are used to more precisely adjust the lamp light output. During low temperatures, the lamp is overdriven using a high amplitude current source. The increased current provides increased light output at low temperatures. When the lamp temperature increases, the amount of current flowing to the lamp is reduced to prevent damage from occurring to the lamp. The lamp may be dimmed throughout the entire temperature range by adjusting the duty cycle of the current source. By dimming using the duty cycle, the light output of the lamp may be more precisely controlled. The amplitude and duty cycle may be controlled using either an analog or digital control signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 9, 1999
    Date of Patent: March 6, 2001
    Assignee: Linfinity Microelectronics
    Inventor: George C. Henry
  • Patent number: 5982231
    Abstract: An improved class D power amplifier is disclosed. Instead of using prior art triangle waves, a ramp signal having a first state of about 90% or greater is used and a second state for the remainder of the cycle. Further, the amplifier includes flip-flops and amplifers with hysteresis to reduce switching noise. Also, level shifting circuitry is provided for shifting the level of the input signal in response to both DC and AC variations in the power supply and to provide power supply rejection. Still further, multiple channels may be used with all of the channels synchronized to the same timing source.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 23, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 9, 1999
    Assignee: Linfinity Microelectronics, Inc.
    Inventor: Mehmet K. Nalbant
  • Patent number: 5943203
    Abstract: A monolithic electronic circuit breaker having an input terminal, an output terminal, and a controllable impedance connected between the input and output terminals. A current sensor generates a current magnitude signal indicative of the current flowing between the input and output terminals. In one embodiment, an over-current circuit generates an over-current signal when the current magnitude signal exceeds a threshold. In response to at least a first occurrence of the over-current signal, a control circuit controls the controllable impedance so as to reduce current through the controllable impedance for a period of time, and then automatically increase current through the controllable impedance. Further, in response to an N.sup.th (N>1) occurrence of the over-current signal, the control circuit controls the controllable impedance so as to reduce current through the controllable impedance and does not thereafter automatically increase current through the controllable impedance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 12, 1997
    Date of Patent: August 24, 1999
    Assignee: Linfinity Microelectronics Inc.
    Inventor: Minhui Wang
  • Patent number: 5930121
    Abstract: A power conversion circuit drives a cold cathode fluorescent lamp (CCFL) while requiring minimal number of external components. The circuit includes a controller, a direct drive network responsive to control inputs from the controller and coupled to receive a power signal, and a secondary network coupled to the CCFL. The direct drive network is low Q circuit comprising a plurality of switching transistors and a primary winding of a transformer such that an impedance of the direct drive network consists essentially of an inductance of the primary winding and capacitance of the direct drive network consists essentially of parasitic capacitance reflected from the secondary winding. The Q of the direct drive network is less than about 0.5 so that a square wave voltage signal is provided across the primary winding of the transformer. However, the inductance of the transformer is sufficiently high such that the voltage across a secondary winding of the transformer is sinusoidal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 13, 1998
    Date of Patent: July 27, 1999
    Assignee: Linfinity Microelectronics
    Inventor: George C. Henry
  • Patent number: 5923129
    Abstract: A power conversion circuit drives a cold cathode fluorescent lamp (CCFL) while requiring minimal number of external components. The circuit includes a controller, a direct drive network responsive to control inputs from the controller and coupled to receive a power signal, and a secondary network coupled to the CCFL. The direct drive network is low Q circuit comprising a plurality of switching transistors and a primary winding of a transformer such that an impedance of the direct drive network consists essentially of an inductance of the primary winding and capacitance of the direct drive network consists essentially of parasitic capacitance reflected from the secondary winding. The Q of the direct drive network is less than about 0.5 so that a square wave voltage signal is provided across the primary winding of the transformer. However, the inductance of the transformer is sufficiently high such that the voltage across a secondary winding of the transformer is sinusoidal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 13, 1998
    Date of Patent: July 13, 1999
    Assignee: Linfinity Microelectronics
    Inventor: George C. Henry
  • Patent number: 5757173
    Abstract: A control circuit for synchronous switching power supplies employing semi-soft switching during turn off and precedent switching during turn on. During turn off, an output voltage is compared to a reference voltage to turn on a synchronous switch after a primary switch is turned off. During turn on, a timing voltage ramp triggers the turn off of the synchronous switch prior to the turn on of the primary switch.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 1996
    Date of Patent: May 26, 1998
    Assignee: Linfinity Microelectronics, Inc.
    Inventor: Dan Agiman
  • Patent number: 5635852
    Abstract: A controllable active terminator for a computer bus providing low power, small size, switchable termination of a computer bus having a plurality of conductors. The active terminator includes a voltage reference circuit, an enable circuit, a buffer amplifier, and a plurality of output cells. The voltage reference circuit includes a power down circuit which turns the voltage reference circuit off, using the same control signal which also disconnects the termination resistors and output transistors of the output cells. The terminator uses FET technology to produce a low-power, small size, controllable terminator having stable and reliable operating characteristics. The amplifiers used in the active terminator comprise CMOS devices and thus are relatively small and consume relatively low power. When enabled, the voltage reference circuit is used to establish a reference voltage for the linear operation of the output transistors in the output cell. The output current is supplied by terminator power.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 17, 1995
    Date of Patent: June 3, 1997
    Assignee: Linfinity Microelectronics, Inc.
    Inventor: Dean Wallace
  • Patent number: 5631528
    Abstract: A method for sensing motor commutation pulses during motor braking without creating negative voltages, which some junction isolated technologies substantially cannot tolerate. For instance, a commutation pulse sensing circuit containing junction isolated technology may only be able to detect commutation pulses intermittently. An H-bridge motor drive configuration is used to drive and brake a motor. High side clamp diodes are coupled between the motor terminals and a high potential source for high side braking of the motor. As an alternative to high side clamp diodes, any other suitable device may be used, including operating the pair of transistors in the upper portion of the H-bridge in an inverse mode. A commutation pulse sensing circuit is coupled to a terminal of the motor. The use of the high side brake clamp diodes avoids generating negative voltages at the motor terminals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 4, 1995
    Date of Patent: May 20, 1997
    Assignee: Linfinity Microelectronics
    Inventor: Dan Agiman
  • Patent number: 5615093
    Abstract: A power converter circuit provides low conversion losses, low generated noise and output power controllability. The circuit includes a controller, at least two transistors and an output network that provides impedance matching and operating point stabilization functions. The output network also enables zero voltage switching of the transistors, thus reducing radiated noise and minimizing (and possibly eliminating almost completely) switching losses. The controller circuitry includes an oscillator which is capable of self synchronizing to the resonant frequency of the components of the output network. Power modulation (e.g., for dimming of a lamp) is accomplished simply by desynchronizing and increasing the oscillator frequency. Thus, the control architecture allows the use of external parts of lower precision and cost while providing dimming capability in a single stage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 5, 1994
    Date of Patent: March 25, 1997
    Assignee: Linfinity Microelectronics
    Inventor: Mehmet K. Nalbant