Patents by Inventor Christian M. Sauer

Christian M. Sauer 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: 10282014
    Abstract: A system can include a display, a first device, and a second device all operatively connected to a controller. The first and second devices each use or share at least a portion of the display area. The controller is adapted to transmit during a pixel refresh time period of the display a first signal that is received by the first device. The first sync signal indicates a first time period in which a first operation can be performed in the first device. The controller is also adapted to transmit a second sync signal that is received by the second device indicating a second time period in which a second operation can be performed in the second device. The second time period can be during the pixel refresh time period or outside of the pixel refresh time period.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 7, 2019
    Assignee: Apple Inc.
    Inventors: Christopher J. Butler, Peter W. Richards, Christian M. Sauer, Manu Agarwal
  • Publication number: 20190102010
    Abstract: A touch sensor panel is disclosed. The touch sensor panel includes a first layer including a plurality of electrodes of a first type that are coupled to respective traces and are configured to operate as touch sensing electrodes during a first time period. The touch sensor panel also includes a second layer including a plurality of electrodes of a second type overlapping with the respective traces of the electrodes of the first type. The electrodes of the second type are configured to operate as guard electrodes for the respective traces of the electrodes of the first type during the first time period and operate as touch sensing electrodes during a second time period.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 28, 2018
    Publication date: April 4, 2019
    Inventors: Brian H. KNABENSHUE, Albert LIN, Jason C. HU, Christian M. SAUER, Martin Paul GRUNTHANER
  • Publication number: 20190073061
    Abstract: A touch sensing system is disclosed. The touch sensing system includes a guard signal generation chip operating in a first power domain referenced to a first voltage, the guard signal generation chip configured to generate a guard signal. A touch sensing chip operates in a second power domain, different from the first power domain, referenced to the guard signal, the touch sensing chip configured to sense touch at one or more touch electrodes included in a touch sensor panel operating in the second power domain referenced to the guard signal, and the touch sensing chip a different chip than the guard signal generation chip. A voltage regulator is configured to selectively regulate a voltage of the guard signal at the touch sensing chip.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 2, 2018
    Publication date: March 7, 2019
    Inventors: Christoph H. KRAH, Christian M. SAUER
  • Patent number: 10120520
    Abstract: A touch sensing system is disclosed. The touch sensing system includes a guard signal generation chip operating in a first power domain referenced to a first voltage, the guard signal generation chip configured to generate a guard signal. A touch sensing chip operates in a second power domain, different from the first power domain, referenced to the guard signal, the touch sensing chip configured to sense touch at one or more touch electrodes included in a touch sensor panel operating in the second power domain referenced to the guard signal, and the touch sensing chip a different chip than the guard signal generation chip. A voltage regulator is configured to selectively regulate a voltage of the guard signal at the touch sensing chip.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 28, 2017
    Date of Patent: November 6, 2018
    Assignee: Apple Inc.
    Inventors: Christoph H. Krah, Christian M. Sauer
  • Publication number: 20180275811
    Abstract: A device configured to sense a touch on a surface of the device. The device includes a cover and a force-sensing structure disposed below the cover. The force-sensing structure may be positioned below a display and used in combination with other force-sensing elements to estimate the force of a touch on the cover of a device.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 24, 2018
    Publication date: September 27, 2018
    Inventors: Sinan Filiz, Martin P. Grunthaner, John Stephen Smith, Charley T. Ogata, Christian M. Sauer, Shin John Choi, Christopher J. Butler, Steven J. Martisauskas
  • Patent number: 10048789
    Abstract: A device configured to sense a touch on a surface of the device. The device includes a cover and a force-sensing structure disposed below the cover. The force-sensing structure may be positioned below a display and used in combination with other force-sensing elements to estimate the force of a touch on the cover of a device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 1, 2015
    Date of Patent: August 14, 2018
    Assignee: Apple Inc.
    Inventors: Sinan Filiz, Martin P. Grunthaner, John Stephen Smith, Charley T. Ogata, Christian M. Sauer, Shin John Choi, Christopher J. Butler, Steven J. Martisauskas
  • Patent number: 10027185
    Abstract: A transmitter device for an inductive energy transfer system can include a DC-to-AC converter operably connected to a transmitter coil, a first capacitor connected between the transmitter coil and one output terminal of the DC-to-AC converter, and a second capacitor connected between the transmitter coil and another output terminal of the DC-to-AC converter. One or more capacitive shields can be positioned between the transmitter coil and an interface surface of the transmitter device. A receiver device can include a touch sensing device, an AC-to-DC converter operably connected to a receiver coil, a first capacitor connected between the receiver coil and one output terminal of the AC-to-DC converter, and a second capacitor connected between the receiver coil and another output terminal of the AC-to-DC converter. One or more capacitive shields can be positioned between the receiver coil and an interface surface of the receiver device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 2014
    Date of Patent: July 17, 2018
    Assignee: Apple Inc.
    Inventors: Todd K. Moyer, Albert Lin, Wesley W. Zuber, Yehonatan Perez, Jeffrey M. Alves, Makiko K. Brzezinski, Eric S. Jol, Paul J. Thompson, Priyank D. Patel, Christian M. Sauer, Christopher S. Graham, Jim C. Hwang, Micah Lewis-Kraus
  • Publication number: 20180157354
    Abstract: Touch sensor panel configurations and methods for improving touch sensitivity of some or all of the electrodes or portions of the touch sensor panel are disclosed. The touch sensor panel configurations can allow increased speed at which the panel can operate. In some examples, the performance of a given touch electrode can differ from the performance of another touch electrode due to differences in capacitance and/or resistance. The performance of the touch sensor panel can be limited by the touch electrode with the lowest performance relative to the other touch electrodes. The configurations and methods can increase the performance of the touch sensor panel by minimizing the capacitive coupling and/or resistance of touch electrodes. Examples of the disclosure can provide configurations of touch sensor panels and methods for improving optical uniformity of the panel.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 1, 2017
    Publication date: June 7, 2018
    Inventors: Christophe BLONDIN, Christian M. SAUER
  • Publication number: 20180032176
    Abstract: A touch sensing system is disclosed. The touch sensing system includes a guard signal generation chip operating in a first power domain referenced to a first voltage, the guard signal generation chip configured to generate a guard signal. A touch sensing chip operates in a second power domain, different from the first power domain, referenced to the guard signal, the touch sensing chip configured to sense touch at one or more touch electrodes included in a touch sensor panel operating in the second power domain referenced to the guard signal, and the touch sensing chip a different chip than the guard signal generation chip. A voltage regulator is configured to selectively regulate a voltage of the guard signal at the touch sensing chip.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 28, 2017
    Publication date: February 1, 2018
    Inventors: Christoph H. KRAH, Christian M. SAUER
  • Patent number: 9811204
    Abstract: A method of scanning a touch sensor panel while the touch sensor panel is coupled to a power adapter is disclosed. The power adapter can charge a battery of a device, but can also introduce or add noise during the process of charging the battery. To prevent adverse effects to the touch sensor panel, while the device is charging, the touch controller can time multiplex touch scan periods and inductive charging periods and can discard touch scans or touch images affected by the noise. Determining whether a touch scan is a bad touch scan can include performing a touch scan across the array of touch pixels and making a determination based on the scan profile. In some examples, the profile can be quantified using different metrics such as the shape, instantaneous slope of tail ends, a full-width half-maximum, and a monotonicity of the curve of the scan profile.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 23, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 7, 2017
    Assignee: Apple Inc.
    Inventors: Christian M. Sauer, Todd K. Moyer, Robert S. Parnell
  • Publication number: 20170220193
    Abstract: A capacitive sensing device can include multiple capacitive sensors. A first device controller is operatively connected to a portion of the capacitive sensors, while a second device controller is operatively connected to another portion of capacitive sensors. A common node or shield can be connected between the first device controller and the second device controller. Charging and discharging events of selected drive lines in the capacitive sensing device and/or of the common node or shield can be synchronized to reduce undesirable effects such as noise and/or to prevent the charging events and the discharging events from overlapping with each other. One or more reference capacitive sensors can be shared by the multiple device controllers.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 21, 2017
    Publication date: August 3, 2017
    Inventors: Christian M. Sauer, Peter W. Richards
  • Patent number: 9660646
    Abstract: A capacitive sensing device can include multiple capacitive sensors. A first device controller is operatively connected to a portion of the capacitive sensors, while a second device controller is operatively connected to another portion of capacitive sensors. A common node or shield can be connected between the first device controller and the second device controller. Charging and discharging events of selected drive lines in the capacitive sensing device and/or of the common node or shield can be synchronized to reduce undesirable effects such as noise and/or to prevent the charging events and the discharging events from overlapping with each other. One or more reference capacitive sensors can be shared by the multiple device controllers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 4, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 23, 2017
    Assignee: Apple Inc.
    Inventors: Christian M. Sauer, Peter W. Richards
  • Publication number: 20170010723
    Abstract: Several techniques for driving a force sensor to reduce common mode offset are disclosed. The force sensor can include at least one set of individual strain sensitive structures formed on or in a surface of a substrate. Each set of individual strain sensitive structures can include one or more strain sensitive structures. At least one external resistor is operably connected in series between a first output of one or more transmitter channels and at least one set of strain sensitive structures. The external resistor(s) effectively increases the resistances of the strain sensitive structures to reduce the common mode offset. Additionally or alternatively, one or more signal generators may be connected to one or more transmitter channels. Each signal generator is configured to produce one or more signals that is/are designed to reduce common mode offset.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 23, 2016
    Publication date: January 12, 2017
    Inventors: John Stephen Smith, Manu Agarwal, Christian M. Sauer
  • Publication number: 20160216833
    Abstract: A system can include a display, a first device, and a second device all operatively connected to a controller. The first and second devices each use or share at least a portion of the display area. The controller is adapted to transmit during a pixel refresh time period of the display a first signal that is received by the first device. The first sync signal indicates a first time period in which a first operation can be performed in the first device. The controller is also adapted to transmit a second sync signal that is received by the second device indicating a second time period in which a second operation can be performed in the second device. The second time period can be during the pixel refresh time period or outside of the pixel refresh time period.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 30, 2013
    Publication date: July 28, 2016
    Inventors: Christopher J. Butler, Peter W. Richards, Christian M. Sauer, Manu Agarwal
  • Publication number: 20160139716
    Abstract: A device configured to sense a touch on a surface of the device. The device includes a cover and a force-sensing structure disposed below the cover. The force-sensing structure may be positioned below a display and used in combination with other force-sensing elements to estimate the force of a touch on the cover of a device.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 1, 2015
    Publication date: May 19, 2016
    Inventors: Sinan Filiz, Martin P. Grunthaner, John Stephen Smith, Charley T. Ogata, Christian M. Sauer, Shin John Choi, Christopher J. Butler, Steven J. Martisauskas
  • Publication number: 20160103544
    Abstract: A device configured to sense a touch on a surface of the device. The device includes a cover and a force-sensing structure disposed below the cover. The force-sensing structure may be positioned below a display and used in combination with other force-sensing elements to estimate the force of a touch on the cover of a device.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 16, 2015
    Publication date: April 14, 2016
    Inventors: Sinan Filiz, Martin P. Grunthaner, John Stephen Smith, Charley T. Ogata, Christian M. Sauer, Shin John Choi, Christopher J. Butler, Steven J. Martisauskas
  • Publication number: 20150370410
    Abstract: A method of scanning a touch sensor panel while the touch sensor panel is coupled to a power adapter is disclosed. The power adapter can charge a battery of a device, but can also introduce or add noise during the process of charging the battery. To prevent adverse effects to the touch sensor panel, while the device is charging, the touch controller can time multiplex touch scan periods and inductive charging periods and can discard touch scans or touch images affected by the noise. Determining whether a touch scan is a bad touch scan can include performing a touch scan across the array of touch pixels and making a determination based on the scan profile. In some examples, the profile can be quantified using different metrics such as the shape, instantaneous slope of tail ends, a full-width half-maximum, and a monotonicity of the curve of the scan profile.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 23, 2014
    Publication date: December 24, 2015
    Inventors: Christian M. SAUER, Todd K. Moyer, Robert S. Parnell
  • Publication number: 20150349539
    Abstract: A transmitter device for an inductive energy transfer system can include a DC-to-AC converter operably connected to a transmitter coil, a first capacitor connected between the transmitter coil and one output terminal of the DC-to-AC converter, and a second capacitor connected between the transmitter coil and another output terminal of the DC-to-AC converter. One or more capacitive shields can be positioned between the transmitter coil and an interface surface of the transmitter device. A receiver device can include a touch sensing device, an AC-to-DC converter operably connected to a receiver coil, a first capacitor connected between the receiver coil and one output terminal of the AC-to-DC converter, and a second capacitor connected between the receiver coil and another output terminal of the AC-to-DC converter. One or more capacitive shields can be positioned between the receiver coil and an interface surface of the receiver device.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 30, 2014
    Publication date: December 3, 2015
    Inventors: Todd K. Moyer, Albert Lin, Wesley W. Zuber, Yehonatan Perez, Jeffrey M. Alves, Makiko K. Brzezinski, Eric S. Jol, Paul J. Thompson, Priyank D. Patel, Christian M. Sauer, Christopher S. Graham, Jim C. Hwang, Micah Lewis-Kraus