Patents by Inventor Andrew C. McNeil

Andrew C. McNeil has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Patent number: 11499987
    Abstract: A sensor includes a movable element adapted for rotational motion about a rotational axis due to acceleration along an axis perpendicular to a surface of a substrate. The movable element includes first and second ends, a first section having a first length between the rotational axis and the first end, and a second section having a second length between the rotational axis and the second end that is less than the first length. A motion stop extends from the second end of the second section. The first end of the first section includes a geometric stop region for contacting the surface of the substrate at a first distance away from the rotational axis. The motion stop for contacting the surface of the substrate at a second distance away from the rotational axis. The first and second distances facilitate symmetric stop performance between the geometric stop region and the motion stop.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 17, 2020
    Date of Patent: November 15, 2022
    Assignee: NXP USA, Inc.
    Inventors: Andrew C McNeil, Fengyuan Li
  • Publication number: 20220089435
    Abstract: A sensor system includes first and second MEMS structures and a processing circuit. The first and second MEMS structures are configured to produce first and second output signals, respectively, in response to a physical stimulus. A method performed by the processing circuit entails receiving the first and second output signals and detecting a defective one of the first and second MEMS structures from the first and second output signals by determining that the first and second output signals are uncorrelated to one another. The method further entails utilizing only the first or the second output signal from a non-defective one of the MEMS structures to produce a processed output signal when one of the MEMS structures is determined to be defective and utilizing the first and second output signals from both of the MEMS structures to produce the processed output signal when neither of the MEMS structures is defective.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 27, 2019
    Publication date: March 24, 2022
    Inventors: Marc Edward Holbein, Andrew C. McNeil, Jerome Romain Enjalbert
  • Publication number: 20220050124
    Abstract: An inertial sensor includes a movable mass, a torsion element, and a suspension system suspending the movable mass apart from a surface of a substrate. The torsion element is coupled to the movable mass for enabling motion of the movable mass about an axis of rotation in response to a force imposed upon the movable mass in a direction perpendicular to the surface of the substrate. The suspension system includes first and second anchors attached to the substrate and displaced away from the axis of rotation, a beam connected to the movable mass via the torsion element, a first folded spring coupled between the first anchor and a first beam end of the beam, and a second folded spring coupled between the second anchor and a second beam end of the beam.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 17, 2020
    Publication date: February 17, 2022
    Inventors: Fengyuan Li, Andrew C McNeil
  • Publication number: 20210396781
    Abstract: A sensor includes a movable element adapted for rotational motion about a rotational axis due to acceleration along an axis perpendicular to a surface of a substrate. The movable element includes first and second ends, a first section having a first length between the rotational axis and the first end, and a second section having a second length between the rotational axis and the second end that is less than the first length. A motion stop extends from the second end of the second section. The first end of the first section includes a geometric stop region for contacting the surface of the substrate at a first distance away from the rotational axis. The motion stop for contacting the surface of the substrate at a second distance away from the rotational axis. The first and second distances facilitate symmetric stop performance between the geometric stop region and the motion stop.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 17, 2020
    Publication date: December 23, 2021
    Inventors: Andrew C. McNeil, Fengyuan Li
  • Patent number: 11029327
    Abstract: An inertial sensor includes a substrate, a movable element having an edge, and a suspension system retaining the movable element in spaced apart relationship above a surface of the substrate. The suspension system includes an anchor attached to the surface of the substrate, the anchor having a first side laterally spaced apart from the edge of the movable element, and a spring structure having a first attach point coupled to the first side of the anchor and a second attach point coupled to the edge of the movable element. The spring structure includes beam sections serially adjoining one another, the beam sections extending from the first side of the anchor and surrounding the anchor to couple to the edge of the movable element. The spring structure makes no more than one coil around the anchor to position the first attach point in proximity to the second attach point.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 2018
    Date of Patent: June 8, 2021
    Assignee: NXP USA, Inc.
    Inventor: Andrew C. McNeil
  • Publication number: 20210155473
    Abstract: A sensor system includes first and second MEMS structures and a processing circuit. The first and second MEMS structures are configured to produce first and second output signals, respectively, in response to a physical stimulus. A method performed by the processing circuit entails receiving the first and second output signals and detecting a defective one of the first and second MEMS structures from the first and second output signals by determining that the first and second output signals are uncorrelated to one another. The method further entails utilizing only the first or the second output signal from a non-defective one of the MEMS structures to produce a processed output signal when one of the MEMS structures is determined to be defective and utilizing the first and second output signals from both of the MEMS structures to produce the processed output signal when neither of the MEMS structures is defective.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 27, 2019
    Publication date: May 27, 2021
    Inventors: Marc Edward Holbein, Andrew C. McNeil, Jerome Romain Enjalbert
  • Publication number: 20210123946
    Abstract: A sensor system includes a transducer for sensing a physical stimulus along at least two orthogonal axes and an excitation circuit. The transducer includes a movable mass configured to react to the physical stimulus and multiple differential electrode pairs of electrodes. Each of the electrode pairs is configured to detect displacement of the movable mass along one of the orthogonal axes. The excitation circuit is connectable to the electrodes in various electrode connection configurations, with different polarity schemes, that enable excitation and sampling of each of the orthogonal axes during every sensing period. For each sensing period, a composite output signal is produced that includes the combined information sensed along each of the orthogonal axes. The individual sense signals for each orthogonal axis may be extracted from the composite output signals.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 22, 2020
    Publication date: April 29, 2021
    Inventors: Andrew C McNeil, Jerome Romain Enjalbert, Joel Cameron Beckwith, Jun Tang
  • Patent number: 10809277
    Abstract: A single axis inertial sensor includes a proof mass spaced apart from a surface of a substrate. The proof mass has first, second, third, and fourth sections. The third section diagonally opposes the first section relative to a center point of the proof mass and the fourth section diagonally opposes the second section relative to the center point. A first mass of the first and third sections is greater than a second mass of the second and fourth sections. A first lever structure is connected to the first and second sections, a second lever structure is connected to the second and third sections, a third lever structure is connected to the third and fourth sections, and a fourth lever structure is connected to the fourth and first sections. The lever structures enable translational motion of the proof mass in response to Z-axis linear acceleration forces imposed on the sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 18, 2017
    Date of Patent: October 20, 2020
    Assignee: NXP USA, Inc.
    Inventors: Jun Tang, Andrew C. McNeil, Kajal Rahimian Kordestani
  • Patent number: 10794701
    Abstract: An inertial sensor includes a movable element having a mass that is asymmetric relative to a rotational axis and anchors attached to the substrate. First and second spring systems are spaced apart from the surface of the substrate. Each of the first and second spring systems includes a pair of beams, a center flexure interposed between the beams, and a pair of end flexures. One of the end flexures is interconnected between one of the beams and one of the anchors and the other end flexure is interconnected between one of the beams and the movable element. The beams are resistant to deformation relative to the center flexure and the end flexures. The first and second spring systems facilitate rotational motion of the movable element about the rotational axis and the spring systems facilitate translational motion of the movable element substantially parallel to the surface of the substrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 1, 2018
    Date of Patent: October 6, 2020
    Assignee: NXP USA, Inc.
    Inventor: Andrew C. McNeil
  • Patent number: 10712359
    Abstract: A flexure for a MEMS device includes an elongated beam and a protrusion element extending outwardly from a sidewall of the elongated beam. A MEMS inertial sensor includes a movable element spaced apart from a surface of a substrate, an anchor attached to the substrate, and a spring system. The spring system includes first and second beams, a center flexure between the first and second beams, a first end flexure interconnected between an end of the first beam and the anchor, and a second end flexure interconnected between an end of the second beam and the movable element. Each of the end flexures includes the elongated beam having first and second ends, and the sidewall defining a longitudinal dimension of the elongated beam, and the protrusion element extending from the sidewall of the elongated beam, the protrusion element being displaced away from the first and second ends of the beam.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 1, 2018
    Date of Patent: July 14, 2020
    Assignee: NXP USA, Inc.
    Inventor: Andrew C. McNeil
  • Publication number: 20200132713
    Abstract: An inertial sensor includes a substrate, a movable element having an edge, and a suspension system retaining the movable element in spaced apart relationship above a surface of the substrate. The suspension system includes an anchor attached to the surface of the substrate, the anchor having a first side laterally spaced apart from the edge of the movable element, and a spring structure having a first attach point coupled to the first side of the anchor and a second attach point coupled to the edge of the movable element. The spring structure includes beam sections serially adjoining one another, the beam sections extending from the first side of the anchor and surrounding the anchor to couple to the edge of the movable element. The spring structure makes no more than one coil around the anchor to position the first attach point in proximity to the second attach point.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 31, 2018
    Publication date: April 30, 2020
    Inventor: Andrew C. McNeil
  • Publication number: 20190339301
    Abstract: A flexure for a MEMS device includes an elongated beam and a protrusion element extending outwardly from a sidewall of the elongated beam. A MEMS inertial sensor includes a movable element spaced apart from a surface of a substrate, an anchor attached to the substrate, and a spring system. The spring system includes first and second beams, a center flexure between the first and second beams, a first end flexure interconnected between an end of the first beam and the anchor, and a second end flexure interconnected between an end of the second beam and the movable element. Each of the end flexures includes the elongated beam having first and second ends, and the sidewall defining a longitudinal dimension of the elongated beam, and the protrusion element extending from the sidewall of the elongated beam, the protrusion element being displaced away from the first and second ends of the beam.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 1, 2018
    Publication date: November 7, 2019
    Inventor: Andrew C. McNeil
  • Publication number: 20190339078
    Abstract: An inertial sensor includes a movable element having a mass that is asymmetric relative to a rotational axis and anchors attached to the substrate. First and second spring systems are spaced apart from the surface of the substrate. Each of the first and second spring systems includes a pair of beams, a center flexure interposed between the beams, and a pair of end flexures. One of the end flexures is interconnected between one of the beams and one of the anchors and the other end flexure is interconnected between one of the beams and the movable element. The beams are resistant to deformation relative to the center flexure and the end flexures. The first and second spring systems facilitate rotational motion of the movable element about the rotational axis and the spring systems facilitate translational motion of the movable element substantially parallel to the surface of the substrate.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 1, 2018
    Publication date: November 7, 2019
    Inventor: Andrew C. McNeil
  • Publication number: 20190187169
    Abstract: A single axis inertial sensor includes a proof mass spaced apart from a surface of a substrate. The proof mass has first, second, third, and fourth sections. The third section diagonally opposes the first section relative to a center point of the proof mass and the fourth section diagonally opposes the second section relative to the center point. A first mass of the first and third sections is greater than a second mass of the second and fourth sections. A first lever structure is connected to the first and second sections, a second lever structure is connected to the second and third sections, a third lever structure is connected to the third and fourth sections, and a fourth lever structure is connected to the fourth and first sections. The lever structures enable translational motion of the proof mass in response to Z-axis linear acceleration forces imposed on the sensor.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 18, 2017
    Publication date: June 20, 2019
    Inventors: Jun Tang, Andrew C. McNeil, Kajal Rahimian Kordestani
  • Patent number: 10107701
    Abstract: A MEMS pressure sensor device is provided that can provide both a linear output with regard to external pressure, and a differential capacitance output so as to improve the signal amplitude level. These benefits are provided through use of a rotating proof mass that generates capacitive output from electrodes configured at both ends of the rotating proof mass. Sensor output can then be generated using a difference between the capacitances generated from the ends of the rotating proof mass. An additional benefit of such a configuration is that the differential capacitance output changes in a more linear fashion with respect to external pressure changes than does a capacitive output from traditional MEMS pressure sensors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 23, 2016
    Date of Patent: October 23, 2018
    Assignee: NXP USA, Inc.
    Inventors: Andrew C. McNeil, Yizhen Lin
  • Patent number: 9926187
    Abstract: Methods for fabricating crack resistant Microelectromechanical (MEMS) devices are provided, as are MEMS devices produced pursuant to such methods. In one embodiment, the method includes forming a sacrificial body over a substrate, producing a multi-layer membrane structure on the substrate, and removing at least a portion of the sacrificial body to form an inner cavity within the multi-layer membrane structure. The multi-layer membrane structure is produced by first forming a base membrane layer over and around the sacrificial body such that the base membrane layer has a non-planar upper surface. A predetermined thickness of the base membrane layer is then removed to impart the base membrane layer with a planar upper surface. A cap membrane layer is formed over the planar upper surface of the base membrane layer. The cap membrane layer is composed of a material having a substantially parallel grain orientation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 10, 2014
    Date of Patent: March 27, 2018
    Assignee: NXP USA, Inc.
    Inventors: Chad S Dawson, Dubravka Bilic, Lianjun Liu, Andrew C McNeil
  • Publication number: 20170341926
    Abstract: Methods for fabricating crack resistant Microelectromechanical (MEMS) devices are provided, as are MEMS devices produced pursuant to such methods. In one embodiment, the method includes forming a sacrificial body over a substrate, producing a multi-layer membrane structure on the substrate, and removing at least a portion of the sacrificial body to form an inner cavity within the multi-layer membrane structure. The multi-layer membrane structure is produced by first forming a base membrane layer over and around the sacrificial body such that the base membrane layer has a non-planar upper surface. A predetermined thickness of the base membrane layer is then removed to impart the base membrane layer with a planar upper surface. A cap membrane layer is formed over the planar upper surface of the base membrane layer. The cap membrane layer is composed of a material having a substantially parallel grain orientation.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 10, 2014
    Publication date: November 30, 2017
    Inventors: Chad S Dawson, Dubravka Bilic, Lianjun Liu, Andrew C McNeil
  • Patent number: 9790085
    Abstract: A structure for preventing charge induced leakage of a semiconductor device includes a shield separated from a first interconnect by at least a first lateral spacing and separated from a second interconnect by at least a second lateral spacing. The first interconnect is connected to a first junction and the second interconnect is connected to a second junction. A shield bias is connected to the shield to terminate an electromagnetic field on the shield. The shield between the first and second lateral spacings has a minimum width to substantially prevent formation of a conductive channel between the first and second junctions. The shield may be formed over a portion of the first junction and over a portion of the second junction to substantially prevent formation of another conductive channel between the first and second junctions at a location that does not have the first and second lateral spacings.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 16, 2016
    Date of Patent: October 17, 2017
    Assignee: NXP USA, Inc.
    Inventors: Dubravka Bilic, Andrew C. McNeil, Lianjun Liu, Margaret Kniffin, Chad Dawson, Colin Stevens
  • Patent number: 9714879
    Abstract: Electrically conductive barriers for integrated circuits and integrated circuits and methods including the electrically conductive barriers. The integrated circuits include a semiconductor substrate, a semiconductor device supported by a device portion of the substrate, and a plurality of bond pads supported by a bond pad portion of the substrate. The integrated circuits also include an electrically conductive barrier that projects away from an intermediate portion of the substrate and is configured to decrease capacitive coupling between the device portion and the bond pad portion. The methods can include methods of manufacturing an integrated circuit. These methods include forming a semiconductor device, forming a plurality of bond pads, forming a plurality of electrically conductive regions, and forming an electrically conductive barrier. The methods also can include methods of operating an integrated circuit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 21, 2015
    Date of Patent: July 25, 2017
    Assignee: NXP USA, INC.
    Inventors: Chad S. Dawson, Andrew C. McNeil, Jinbang Tang
  • Patent number: 9689677
    Abstract: A MEMS device includes a drive spring system coupling a pair of drive masses and a sense spring system coupling a pair of sense masses. The drive spring system includes a constrained stiff beam and flexures interconnecting the pair of drive masses. In response to drive movement of the drive masses the flexures enable pivotal movement of the constrained stiff beam about its center hinge point to enable anti-phase drive motion of the drive masses and to suppress in-phase motion of the drive masses. The sense spring system includes diagonally oriented stiff beams and a spring system that enable anti-phase sense motion of the sense masses while suppressing in-phase motion of the sense masses. Coupling masses interposed between the drive and sense masses decouple the drive motion of the drive masses from the sense motion of the sense masses.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 19, 2015
    Date of Patent: June 27, 2017
    Assignee: NXP USA, Inc.
    Inventors: Peng Shao, Andrew C. McNeil