Patents Examined by Don Phu Le
  • Patent number: 6414515
    Abstract: Failsafe interface circuits are provided for an integrated circuit having a core logic section providing a signal to, or receiving a signal from, a bond pad connection. The interface circuits employ high voltage tolerant, extended drain devices in circuit arrangements which insure that the stress of a failsafe event is only exhibited by the extended drain devices. A failsafe event is defined as a bond pad voltage which exceeds the supply voltage of the integrated circuit plus the threshold voltage of the transistors within the integrated circuit. Both failsafe output driver circuit and failsafe receiver circuit embodiments are provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 15, 2000
    Date of Patent: July 2, 2002
    Assignee: Texas Instruments Incorporated
    Inventors: Keith E. Kunz, James D. Huffman
  • Patent number: 6411126
    Abstract: The output slew rate of a differential transmission line driver (13) can be limited by suitably controlling signal slew rates (52) at the control inputs (neg, pos) of the drive switches (M1-M4) that control current flow through the load impedance (Rload) of the driver.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 2000
    Date of Patent: June 25, 2002
    Assignee: Texas Instruments Incorporated
    Inventors: Steven J. Tinsley, Julie Hwang, Mark W. Morgan
  • Patent number: 6407585
    Abstract: A new self clocking family of dynamic logic gates which replace footless or subsequent stage dynamic logic gates in multi-stage domino logic circuits. In a preferred embodiment, a multi-stage logic circuit is designed having a first stage which utilizes a traditional dynamic logic gate and a second stage which includes a new self-clocking dynamic logic gate. The output from the first stage is coupled to the input of the second stage such that the second stage is not dependent upon any type of clock signal for precharging. Instead, the second stage includes a dual transistor arrangement on the inter-stage inputs (i.e. the outputs from one stage which are input to subsequent stages) in order to precharge the output node at the second stage such that no type of clock signal is needed during precharge. Accordingly, the output from the second stage is efficiently precharged without using a delayed clock signal or any customized delay circuitry while minimizing through current by design.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 10, 2000
    Date of Patent: June 18, 2002
    Assignee: Fujitsu Ltd.
    Inventor: James Vinh
  • Patent number: 6404232
    Abstract: A semiconductor integrated circuit device comprising a logical circuit including a MIS transistor formed on a semiconductor substrate, a control circuit for controlling a threshold voltage of the MIS transistor forming the logical circuit, an oscillation circuit including a MIS transistor formed on the semiconductor substrate, the oscillation circuit being constructed so that the frequency of an oscillation output thereof can be made variable, and a buffer circuit, in which the control circuit is supplied with a clock signal having a predetermined frequency and the oscillation output of the oscillation circuit so that the control circuit compares the frequency of the oscillation output and the frequency of the clock signal to output a first control signal, the oscillation circuit is controlled by the first control signal so that the frequency of the oscillation output corresponds to the frequency of the clock signal, the control of the frequency of the oscillation output being performed in such a manner that
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 26, 2000
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2002
    Assignee: Hitachi, Ltd.
    Inventors: Hiroyuki Mizuno, Masataka Minami, Koichiro Ishibashi
  • Patent number: 6404233
    Abstract: The present invention discloses an apparatus and method for determining the speed of a logic circuit relative to the clock. The preferred embodiment utilizes dynamic logic to deliver a critical signal to a transition detection circuit, which performs the OR/NOR function on the signals. In one embodiment the transition detection circuit comprises static logic. In another embodiment, the transition detection circuit comprises an N-NARY gate that performs the OR/NOR function.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 28, 1998
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2002
    Assignee: Intrinsity, Inc.
    Inventors: James S. Blomgren, Terence M. Potter
  • Patent number: 6396307
    Abstract: A logical design method for a semiconductor integrated circuit includes the steps of: a) generating a circuit at a logical level so as to meet given functions and specifications; b) extracting a critical path, which will cause the longest delay, from the circuit generated in the step a); c) counting how many times a path leading from each input terminal to an output terminal in every logic cell of the circuit has operated; d) calculating a degradation rate associated with the path leading from each said input terminal to the output terminal in each said logic cell on the critical path by reference to the number of times of operation obtained in the step c); and e) exchanging a connection to one of the input terminals of each said logic cell, which terminal is associated with the critical path, with a connection to another one of the input terminals of the logic cell, which terminal is associated with another path corresponding to a lower degradation rate than that of the critical path, by reference to the deg
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 19, 2000
    Date of Patent: May 28, 2002
    Assignee: Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Yoshiyuki Kawakami, Nobufusa Iwanishi
  • Patent number: 6396304
    Abstract: A programmable logic array integrated circuit device has logic regions grouped in blocks, which are in turn grouped in super-blocks. The super-blocks are disposed on the device in a two-dimensional array of intersecting rows and columns. Global conductors are associated with each row and column. Super-block feeding conductors associated with each super-block feed signals from the global conductors to any logic region in the super-block. Local feedback conductors feed back logic region output signals to all logic regions in a block. The super-block feeding conductors are also used to interconnect the logic regions in a super-block so that the global conductors do not have to be used for that purpose.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 9, 1999
    Date of Patent: May 28, 2002
    Assignee: Altera Corporation
    Inventors: Richard G. Cliff, Cameron McClintock, William Leong
  • Patent number: 6396168
    Abstract: A programmable logic array (PLA) includes at least one AND plane including an array of transistors arranged in rows and columns. The transistors belonging to a same column may be connected in series with each other. Two end conduction terminals of the series connected transistors may be coupled to a supply voltage rail and to a reference, respectively. The transistors of the first and last rows of the array may have their control terminals coupled to respective opposite enabling/disabling potentials. Except for the first and last rows, first, second, and third control lines are associated with each row of the array. Except for the first and last rows, each transistor of each row may have its control terminal connected to one of the three control lines associated with its row. The PLA may alternatively include at least one OR plane.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 12, 2001
    Date of Patent: May 28, 2002
    Assignee: STMicroelectronics S.r.l.
    Inventors: Stefano Ghezzi, Donato Ferrario, Emilio Yero, Giovanni Campardo
  • Patent number: 6388470
    Abstract: The system and method facilitates the transmission of relatively high voltage signals via a thin oxide gate CMOS device without an excessively detrimental electric field build up across the thin oxide layers forming a gate in a CMOS device. The high voltage CMOS thin oxide gate system and method provides a degradation repression bias voltage signal to the thin oxide gate of the CMOS device. The degradation repression bias voltage signal establishes a differential voltage potential between the source and drain components of the thin oxide gate output CMOS device and the gate component of the thin oxide gate output CMOS device. The degradation repression bias voltage signal is maintained at a level that prevents that excessively detrimental electric field stresses are not induced in oxide layers that form the thin oxide gate in the output CMOS device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 30, 2000
    Date of Patent: May 14, 2002
    Assignee: Philips Electronics North American Corporation
    Inventors: Derwin W. Mattos, Brian M. Appold
  • Patent number: 6388469
    Abstract: An apparatus comprising a first circuit and a second circuit. The first circuit may be configured to generate a first control signal and a second control signal in response to (i) a first input signal, (ii) a second input signal and (iii) a voltage control signal. The second circuit configured to generate (i) an output signal in response to the first and the second control signals and (ii) the voltage control signal in response to a pad voltage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 13, 1999
    Date of Patent: May 14, 2002
    Assignee: Cypress Semiconductor Corp.
    Inventors: Jeffery Scott Hunt, Muthukumar Nagarajan
  • Patent number: 6388463
    Abstract: In a system for the transmission of logic levels via a bus the recessive level, being of higher impedance in comparison with the dominant level, is not adjusted by means of a resistor but by means of a termination arrangement with three break points in the current/voltage diagram. In the third quadrant of the current/voltage diagram this termination arrangement has a resistance which is higher than that of a lead terminated by means of a linear resistor. In the first quadrant the rise of the characteristic up to a voltage below a receiving threshold is steeper than in the case of termination by means of a resistor. Subsequently, in the first quadrant the characteristic is subject to a current limitation which is effective from a voltage below the receiving threshold to a value beyond the working point of the dominant driver. Beyond the working point of the dominant driver the current limitation is removed again, so that the rise is steeper than in the case of termination by means of a resistor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 2, 1999
    Date of Patent: May 14, 2002
    Assignee: U.S. Philips Corporation
    Inventor: Robert Mores
  • Patent number: 6384621
    Abstract: An apparatus comprising a first circuit, a second circuit, and an output circuit. The first circuit may be configured to generate a first digital output in response to (i) a reference input and (ii) a feedback input. The second circuit may be configured to generate a second digital output in response to (i) the first digital output and (ii) a second feedback input. The output circuit may be configured to generate a third output in response to a data input, wherein an output impedance of the output circuit is adjusted in response to (i) the first digital output and (ii) the second digital output.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 22, 2001
    Date of Patent: May 7, 2002
    Assignee: Cypress Semiconductor Corp.
    Inventors: Gary Gibbs, Manoj B. Roge
  • Patent number: 6384631
    Abstract: There is disclosed a voltage level shifter that receives an input signal having a maximum Logic 1 value of VDD and produces an output signal having a maximum Logic 1 value of VDDI/O, where VDDI/O is greater than VDD.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 27, 2001
    Date of Patent: May 7, 2002
    Assignee: National Semiconductor Corporation
    Inventors: Joseph D. Wert, William E. Ballachino
  • Patent number: 6380760
    Abstract: In one embodiment, an integrated circuit (10, 110) has a contention detection circuit (12, 112) coupled to a tri-stateable output buffer (18, 118). The contention detection circuit (12, 112) provides a contention tri-state control signal (34, 134) to the tri-stateable output buffer (18, 118) in order to place it in a tri-stated condition when an external device (31, 131), such as a computer, supplies power to an input/output pad (22, 122) on the integrated circuit (10, 110). Thus, external and/or internal buffer contention is avoided when an external device (31, 131), such as a computer, supplies power to an input/output pad (22, 122) on the integrated circuit (10, 110).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 11, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 30, 2002
    Assignee: Motorola, Inc.
    Inventor: Bernard J. Pappert
  • Patent number: 6377075
    Abstract: There is disclosed a circuit topology for avoiding transistor gate oxide- dielectric breakdown and hot-carrier degradation in circuits, such as CMOS inverters, fabricated in a standard sub-micron CMOS process with feature size below 0.8 &mgr;m and gate-oxide thickness less than 150 Å. An inverter circuit according to the invention incorporates transistors M6, M2, M3, M5 appropriately biased, additional to those of a standard inverter circuit (comprising M1 and M4), in order to avoid hot-carrier degradation and gate-oxide breakdown of M4 and M1. The invention is also applicable to transistor circuits having other functionalities for example logic level translators.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 4, 1999
    Date of Patent: April 23, 2002
    Assignee: Cochlear Limited
    Inventor: Louis Sze Yuen Wong
  • Patent number: 6377073
    Abstract: A reduced power dissipation integrated circuit. Power dissipation within a CMOS circuit is reduced by substitution of multi-level buses with several thresholds for binary state buses with a single threshold. A significant portion of an IC's power dissipation is consumed by the act of charging and discharging data and address busses within the IC because theses busses possess the highest capacitances of any of the nodes within the part. The present invention uses a series of thresholds from a minimum voltage to a maximum voltage. Below the minimum threshold voltage Vref1, the logic state would be “0”. Above the maximum threshold voltage Vrefn, the logic state would be “n”. A series of defined thresholds, Vref1, Vref2, . . . Vrefn, between the minimum and maximum voltages define a series of logic states 0, 1, 2 . . . n+1 between 0 and n+1.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 1999
    Date of Patent: April 23, 2002
    Assignee: Texas Instruments Incorporated
    Inventor: Keith Krasnansky
  • Patent number: 6377068
    Abstract: A low impedance stereo audio bus interface between multiple audio transmitters and a receiver. The bus has a core transmitter circuit associated with each output of the multiple audio transmitters and each core transmitter circuit generates a pair of balanced differentiated outputs. The pair of balanced differentiated outputs of the core transmitter circuits are connected in parallel to a core receiver circuit, which recombine the pair of balanced differentiated signals to reproduce the original stereo signals at the input to the receiver. The bus may contain optional circuits to perform functions not performed elsewhere in the transmitter or receiver.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 20, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 23, 2002
    Assignee: Visteon Global Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Jeffrey Neil Golden, Akram Mufid Mufid, Colin David Wright, Michael W. Flood
  • Patent number: 6373277
    Abstract: A line driver having variable impedance termination includes an impedance, a 1st variable feedback, a 2nd variable feedback, a summing module and a gain module. The 1st and 2nd variable feedbacks provide feedback based on the desired impedance for the particular application. The summing module is operably coupled to sum the 1st variable feedback, the 2nd variable feedback and a signal to produce a resultant signal. The gain module is operably coupled to receive the resultant signal and to amplify the signal to produce a gained signal. The output of the gain module is operably coupled to the impedance wherein the other node of the impedance provides the output of the line driver. To provide the feedback, the 1st variable feedback is operably coupled to the output of the gain module and the summing module and the 2nd variable feedback is operably coupled to the output of the line driver and the summing module.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 22, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 16, 2002
    Assignee: Sigmatel, INC
    Inventor: Matthew D. Felder
  • Patent number: 6373280
    Abstract: A programmable logic integrated circuit device has a plurality of areas of programmable logic disposed on the device in a two-dimensional array of intersecting rows and columns of such areas. A so-called “fast conductor” network is provided on the device for rapidly and efficiently distributing a relatively small number of signals to substantially any logic area on the device. The fast conductor network has several main conductors that substantially bisect the array in one direction (e.g., by extending parallel to the column axis). Some main conductors can carry signals from off the device. Other main conductors can carry signals generated on the device. The network further includes secondary conductors that extend transverse to the main conductors (e.g., along each row of logic areas). Programmable logic connectors are provided for selectively applying signals from the main conductors to the secondary conductors and from the secondary conductors to the logic areas.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 16, 2002
    Assignee: Altera Corporation
    Inventors: Christopher F. Lane, Srinivas T. Reddy
  • Patent number: 6369608
    Abstract: Method and apparatus for preconditioning and in-use conditioning of transistors formed on a semiconductor-on-insulator structure is described. More particularly, transistors of a programmable logic device (PLD), such as a field programmable gate array (FPGA), are preconditioned to take advantage of charge accumulation owing to a “floating body” effect. This preconditioning takes a form of switching transistors on and off prior to customer operation. Accordingly, semiconductor-on-insulator transistors accumulate charge during this switching period, so when customer operation takes place, transistor switching times are less variable over a period of operation of the PLD. Additionally, a design process and implementation is described for identification and in-use conditioning of transistors that may need conditioning during customer operation to control switching time variability.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 18, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 9, 2002
    Assignee: Xillinx, Inc.
    Inventors: Austin H. Lesea, Robert J. Francis