Patents Assigned to Silicon Light Machines
  • Patent number: 8320038
    Abstract: A method of fabricating an integrated device including a MicroElectroMechanical system (MEMS) and an associated microcircuit is provided. In one embodiment, the method comprises: forming a high temperature capable contact through a dielectric layer to an underlying element of a microcircuit formed adjacent to a MicroElectroMechanical System (MEMS) structure on a substrate; and depositing a layer of conducting material over the dielectric layer, and patterning the layer of conducting material to form a local interconnect (LI) for the microcircuit overlying and electrically coupled to the contact and a bottom electrode for the adjacent MEMS structure. Other embodiments are also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 16, 2009
    Date of Patent: November 27, 2012
    Assignee: Silicon Light Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Joshua Lu, Gregory Beach, Alexander Payne, James Hunter
  • Patent number: 8285131
    Abstract: A film recorder including a linear diffractive spatial light modulator (LDSLM) and methods of using the same to record a digital image on a strip of photographic film are provided. In one embodiment, the recorder includes: an illuminator including at least one monochromatic light source generating a light beam; a spatial light modulator assembly including at least one linear diffractive spatial light modulator (LDSLM) to receive the light beam from the illuminator and modulate the light beam from the illuminator; a film transport for transporting a photographic film on an imaging plane; and imaging optics disposed in a light path between the LDSLM and the imaging plane to image the light beam simultaneously on a substantially linear portion of the photographic film to record an image on the photographic film. Other embodiments are also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 18, 2010
    Date of Patent: October 9, 2012
    Assignee: Silicon Light Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Gregory A. Myatt, Alexander P. Payne, Jahja I. Trisnadi, Harold A. Zarem
  • Patent number: 8199178
    Abstract: A linear dense-packed spatial light modulator (LDSLM) and method of modulating light using the same are provided. In one embodiment, the LDSLM comprises a plurality of two dimensional (2D) modulators grouped proximal to one another on a surface of a substrate to form a densely-packed, linear array having a plurality of pixels along a longitudinal axis of the array. Each pixel includes a number of 2D modulators electrically coupled to receive a common drive signal and to modulate light reflected therefrom in response to the drive signal. Preferably, each pixel includes at least two 2D modulators grouped along a transverse axis of the array. More preferably, the number of 2D modulators along the transverse axis in each pixel is selected to provide a desired power density while avoiding an undesired thermal gradient across the LDSLM. The LDSLM and method are particularly useful in printing applications. Other embodiments are also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 5, 2008
    Date of Patent: June 12, 2012
    Assignee: Silicon Light Machines Corporation
    Inventor: Alexander Payne
  • Patent number: 7986603
    Abstract: A holographic data storage (HDS) system and method are provided. Generally, the system includes: a light source for generating a coherent light; beam-forming optics for forming the light into collimated object and reference beams; holographic storage medium; a spatial light modulator (SLM) located in a path of the object beam from the beam-forming optics to the storage medium, the SLM having a number of pixels for encoding data to be stored in the medium into the object beam. Preferably, the SLM can modulate both the amplitude and phase of light from every pixel on the SLM. More preferably, the SLM is also located in a path of the reference beam to the storage medium to modulate the phase of the light to store multiple holographic pages of data in the same physical volume of medium through phase multiplexing. Other embodiments are also described.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 29, 2008
    Date of Patent: July 26, 2011
    Assignee: Silicon Light Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Jahja I. Trisnadi, Alexander P. Payne, Clinton B. Carlisle
  • Patent number: 7903337
    Abstract: A grating light valve is provided with a plurality of spaced reflective ribbons, spatially arranged over a semiconductor substrate, the ribbons and substrate being provided with reflective surfaces. The grating light valve is configured to optimize the conditions for constructive and destructive interference with an incident light source having a given wavelength. In a preferred embodiment, one set of ribbons is moveable with respect to the substrate and the second set of ribbons. The substrate is typically provided with a protective layer, which may be thermally grown silicon dioxide or other dielectric. A conductive trace is provided on the dielectric layer and grounded through the dielectric layer to the substrate, comprising a conductive trace for easy release of charge otherwise trapped on or at the dielectric layer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 22, 2002
    Date of Patent: March 8, 2011
    Assignee: Silicon Light Machines
    Inventors: Jim Hunter, Chris Gudeman, David T. Amm, Akira Tomita
  • Patent number: 7573631
    Abstract: One embodiment relates to a hybrid micro electromechanical systems (MEMS) based spatial light modulator (SLM) capable of operating in both analog and digital modes. The hybrid SLM includes a substrate having an upper surface, a number of movable ribbons disposed a predetermined distance above the upper surface of the substrate, the ribbons having light reflective surfaces formed on their upper side facing away from the upper surface of the substrate, and a number of standoffs having a predetermined height positioned between a lower surface of the movable ribbons and the upper surface of the substrate. The standoffs are configured to limit the ribbon deflection of movable ribbons toward the upper surface of the substrate when the SLM is operated in digital mode with snap-down voltages applied between the ribbon and drive electronics in the substrate. Other embodiments are also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 13, 2006
    Date of Patent: August 11, 2009
    Assignee: Silicon Light Machines Corporation
    Inventor: David T. Amm
  • Patent number: 7573695
    Abstract: An architecture and method are provided for preventing snapdown in a voltage controlled MEMS device having a movable actuator with an actuator electrode coupled to a high voltage power supply (HVPS) through a drive circuit, the movable actuator suspended over a cavity electrode formed on a substrate and coupled to a common backplane supply (VssC). Generally, the circuit includes a number of first diodes coupled between the HVPS and the actuator electrode and/or the cavity electrode to provide a forward-biased path to transfer a positive charge to the HVPS when the accumulated charge exceeds a predetermined threshold. Preferably, the drive circuit further includes second diodes to provide a low impedance path to transfer a positives charge from the actuator electrode and/or the cavity electrode to a substrate ground when the accumulated charge results in or exceeds a predetermined threshold voltage. Other embodiments are also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 26, 2007
    Date of Patent: August 11, 2009
    Assignee: Silicon Light Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Andrew Walker, Marc Hartranft, Michael J. Duewake, Gerald Murphy, Kevin Gallagher
  • Patent number: 7529017
    Abstract: A circuit and method are provided for preventing snapdown in a voltage controlled Micro-Electromechanical System device having a movable actuator with an actuator electrode coupled to a first potential, the actuator suspended over a cavity electrode coupled to a second potential. Generally, the circuit includes an in-circuit conductive path between the actuator electrode and the cavity electrode, the conductive path configured to transfer charge therebetween when a voltage between the first and second potential exceeds a predetermined threshold voltage. In one embodiment the conductive path comprises an ESD clamp coupled between the actuator electrode and the cavity electrode. Other embodiments are also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 7, 2006
    Date of Patent: May 5, 2009
    Assignee: Silicon Light Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Andrew Walker, Marc Hartranft, Michael J. Dueweke
  • Patent number: 7527755
    Abstract: In one embodiment, a ferroelectric material is processed by placing the material in an environment including metal vapor and heating the material to a temperature below the Curie temperature of the material. This allows the bulk conductivity of the ferroelectric material to be increased without substantially degrading its ferroelectric domain properties. In one embodiment, the ferroelectric material comprises lithium tantalate and the metal vapor comprises zinc.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 9, 2005
    Date of Patent: May 5, 2009
    Assignee: Silicon Light Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Ronald O. Miles, Ludwig L. Galambos, Janos J. Lazar, Gabriel C. Risk, Alexei L. Alexandrovski, Gregory D. Miller, David Caudillo, Joseph M. McRae, Gisele L. Foulon
  • Patent number: 7502157
    Abstract: One embodiment relates to a method of independently controlling amplitude and phase modulation by a spatial light modulator. Light is illuminated onto upper layer deflectable planar areas and lower layer deflectable planar areas over a substrate of the spatial light modulator. First active circuitry on the substrate is used to provide amplitude modulation by controlling a relative displacement between upper layer deflectable planar areas and adjacent lower layer deflectable planar areas. Second active circuitry on the substrate is used to provide phase modulation by controlling a displacement between the (upper and lower layer) deflectable planar areas and the substrate. Other embodiments and features are also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 28, 2006
    Date of Patent: March 10, 2009
    Assignee: Silicon Light Machines Corporation
    Inventor: Michael J. Dueweke
  • Patent number: 7466022
    Abstract: One embodiment disclosed relates to a method for sealing an active area of a non-silicon-based device on a wafer. The method includes providing a sacrificial material over at least the active area of the non-silicon-based device, depositing a seal coating over the wafer so that the seal coating covers the sacrificial material, and replacing the sacrificial material with a target atmosphere. Another embodiment disclosed relates to a non-silicon-based device sealed at the wafer level (i.e. prior to separation of the die from the wafer). The device includes an active area to be protected, a contact area, and a lithographically-formed structure sealing at least the active area and leaving at least a portion of the contact area exposed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 24, 2005
    Date of Patent: December 16, 2008
    Assignee: Silicon Light Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Gregory D. Miller, Mike Bruner
  • Patent number: 7463403
    Abstract: A driver is provided for use with a MEMS device. Generally, the driver includes: (i) a high voltage circuit electrically coupled to a movable actuator of the MEMS to apply a HV pulse thereto; and (ii) a charge control circuit coupled to a base electrode formed in a substrate underlying the actuator to control a potential applied to the base electrode. The charge control circuit can include a capacitance divider having a plate capacitor defined by the actuator and the base electrode, and a charge storage capacitor electrically coupled to the base electrode and in series with the plate capacitor. The charge storage capacitor can include a variable, voltage controlled capacitor, the capacitance of which is controlled by an input signal or voltage to the driver. Other embodiments are also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 22, 2006
    Date of Patent: December 9, 2008
    Assignee: Silicon Light Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Stephen Gaalema, Douglas Webb, Alexander Payne, Josef Berger
  • Patent number: 7405389
    Abstract: The present disclosure describes an optical displacement sensor having a dense multi-axis array of photosensitive elements. Generally, the sensor includes a two dimensional array of multiple photosensitive elements. In one embodiment, the array includes multiple linear arrays of photosensitive elements arranged along three or more axes in a space-filling, close-packed multi-axis array. The photosensitive elements are connected to each other in such a way that motion is determinable along each of the axes by measuring differential photocurrents between photosensitive elements along each of the axes. The inventive architecture advantageously increases signal redundancy, and reduces signal drop-out or low signals due to random fluctuations in the incident or absorbed light or in the signals from the photosensitive elements.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 15, 2005
    Date of Patent: July 29, 2008
    Assignee: Silicon Light Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Michael J. Dueweke, Douglas A. Webb
  • Patent number: 7391973
    Abstract: An apparatus for selectively adjusting power levels of component signals of a wavelength division multiplexed signal. The apparatus comprises a first filter and a second filter. The first filter modulates the component signals according to a static attenuation profile, thereby providing coarsely modulated component signals. The second filter is coupled to the first filter to receive the coarsely modulated component signals and to modulate the coarsely modulated component signals according to a dynamic attenuation profile, thereby providing finely modulated component signals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 2003
    Date of Patent: June 24, 2008
    Assignee: Silicon Light Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Robert W. Corrigan, Dinesh Maheshwari
  • Patent number: 7359106
    Abstract: A light modulator and a method of manufacturing the same are provided having a continuously deformable optical surface. Generally, the modulator includes a substrate, a membrane disposed above and spaced apart from an upper surface of the substrate, the membrane having a continuously deformable light reflective surface formed on its upper side facing away from the upper surface of the substrate, and a means for deflecting the deformable surface relative to the substrate. Light reflected from different points of the deformable surface can interfere to modulate light reflected from the modulator in 0th order applications. In one embodiment, the membrane includes a static reflective surface surrounding the deformable surface. Light reflected from the static surface and the deformable surface can interfere to modulate light reflected from the modulator in non-0th order applications.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 20, 2005
    Date of Patent: April 15, 2008
    Assignee: Silicon Light Machines Corporation
    Inventors: David T. Amm, Alexander P. Payne, James A. Hunter
  • Patent number: 7330038
    Abstract: In one embodiment, a probe card includes a substrate and a plurality of probes. Each of the probes may have a supported portion and an unsupported portion that meet at a base. The unsupported portion may have a non-uniform (e.g. triangular) cross-section along a length that begins at the base. The probes may be interleaved and fabricated using MEMS fabrication techniques.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 7, 2005
    Date of Patent: February 12, 2008
    Assignee: Silicon Light Machines Corporation
    Inventor: Omar S. Leung
  • Patent number: 7310180
    Abstract: In one embodiment, a capacitive micro electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) device includes a dielectric spacer between a bottom electrode and a movable member. The movable member may serve as a top electrode. A gap separates the top electrode from the dielectric spacer. The movable member may be actuated to deflect towards the bottom electrode by electrostatic force. The dielectric spacer reduces the height of the gap that would otherwise be formed between a top surface of the bottom electrode and a bottom surface of the movable member, thereby improving squeeze-film damping. The movable member may be a ribbon of a ribbon-type diffractive spatial light modulator, for example.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 1, 2005
    Date of Patent: December 18, 2007
    Assignee: Silicon Light Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Alexander P. Payne, Omar S. Leung
  • Patent number: 7297912
    Abstract: A circuit and method are provided for reducing power consumption in an optical navigation system for use in an input device to sense displacement of the device relative to a surface. Generally, the system includes: (i) an optical sensor having at least first and second arrays of photosensitive elements; (ii) imaging optics to map an illuminated portion of the surface to the optical sensor; (iii) a signal processor including a first and second sensor circuits coupled to the respective first and second arrays to generate from each array a set of signals in response to motion of light received thereon; and (iv) a control circuit capable of independently switching power to the sensor circuits. In one embodiment, the control circuit powers down one sensor circuit when the strength of the set of signals from the other is greater than a predetermined minimum thereby maintaining device performance. Other embodiments are also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 27, 2006
    Date of Patent: November 20, 2007
    Assignee: Silicon Light Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Brian D. Todoroff, Yansun Xu
  • Patent number: 7298460
    Abstract: A method is provided for determining motion of an optical sensor including a periodic photo-diode array relative to a surface. The method includes steps of (i) generating sets of quasi-sinusoidal signals responsive to motion along first and second directions; (ii) combining the sets of signals to generate a wrapped phase angle value for each direction at a first time; (iii) combining the sets of signals at a second time to generate a second wrapped phase angle value for each direction; (iv) computing wrapped phase angle changes for each direction between the first time and the second time; (v) computing velocity predictors for each direction using corrected average phase angle changes from a number of preceding successive frames; (vi) calculating the number of full 27? rotations needed to unwrap the phase angle changes for each direction using the velocity predictors; and (vii) computing the unwrapped or corrected phase angle changes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 3, 2006
    Date of Patent: November 20, 2007
    Assignee: Silicon Light Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Yansun Xu, Brian D. Todoroff
  • Patent number: 7288424
    Abstract: An integrated device includes one or more device drivers and a micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) structure monolithically coupled to the one or more device drivers. The one or more device drivers are configured to process received control signals and to transmit the processed control signals to the MEMS structure. Methods of fabricating integrated devices are also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 24, 2003
    Date of Patent: October 30, 2007
    Assignee: Silicon Light Machines Corporation
    Inventors: James A. Hunter, Charles B. Roxlo, Alexander Payne