Patents by Inventor John R. Agness

John R. Agness 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: 9823294
    Abstract: A negative voltage testing including a monitoring and triggering circuit coupled to a supply voltage rail of a device under test (DUT) and a switching circuit coupled to the monitoring and triggering circuit. The monitoring and triggering circuit is configured to cause the switching circuit to provide a first negative voltage to the supply voltage rail when a supply voltage on the supply voltage rail decays below a predetermined level during a first test of the DUT.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 15, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 21, 2017
    Assignee: Western Digital Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Christopher Aiello, Ryan P. Mayo, William K. Laird, John R. Agness
  • Publication number: 20170005573
    Abstract: A power system includes a first charge pump configured to supply power, and control circuitry coupled to the first charge pump. The control circuitry is operable to receive a signal indicating whether a second change pump is turning on. If the first charge pump is about to be turned on and the signal indicates that the second charge pump is turning on, the control circuitry is operable to prevent an output, of first charge pump from substantially aligning with an output of the second charge pump.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 7, 2016
    Publication date: January 5, 2017
    Inventors: WILLIAM K. LAIRD, JOHN R. AGNESS, HENRY S. UNG
  • Patent number: 9484733
    Abstract: A power control module including first port for receiving supply voltage from host power supply, second port for providing output voltage to power one or more data storage device components, isolation circuit coupled to first and second ports, driver including output coupled to control terminal of isolation circuit, voltage booster including input for receiving supply voltage and output for providing boost voltage to supply terminal of driver, voltage limiter operable to limit boost voltage to a limited boost voltage, and control circuitry coupled to drive input and operable to cause the isolation circuit to be in closed state during normal operating mode by causing the driver to apply limited boost voltage to the control terminal of the isolation circuit, thereby enabling the isolation circuit to provide over-voltage protection to one or more data storage device components by limiting output voltage at second port to less than the limited boost voltage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 2, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 1, 2016
    Assignee: WESTERN DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
    Inventors: Timothy A. Ferris, John R. Agness
  • Patent number: 9471072
    Abstract: A regulator circuit includes: a current detector configured to sense a load current and convert the sensed load current to a DC current sense signal; and an adjustment circuit configured to adjust an output voltage within predetermined upper and lower voltage limits based on the DC current sense signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 2, 2014
    Date of Patent: October 18, 2016
    Assignee: WESTERN DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES, INC
    Inventors: William K. Laird, John R. Agness
  • Patent number: 9443431
    Abstract: A power system is disclosed including a plurality of power circuits, each power circuit providing an independent power output and including a high-side driver coupled to a high-side switch and a low-side drive coupled to a low-side switch, and control circuitry coupled to each of the power circuits. The control circuitry is operable to detect a present state of each high-side and low-side switch, and prevent two or more of the high-side switches from substantially concurrently switching from a first state to a second state, or two or more of the high-side switches and one or more of the low-side switches from substantially concurrently switching from a third state to a fourth state, or two or more of the low-side switches from substantially concurrently switching from the third state to the fourth state.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 29, 2012
    Date of Patent: September 13, 2016
    Assignee: Western Digital Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: William K. Laird, John R. Agness, Henry S. Ung
  • Patent number: 9350278
    Abstract: A current sensing circuit includes: a first controlled device; a first controlled device; a first current mirror configured to cause a first mirror current to flow through a first load device based on a first control signal received by the first controlled device; a second controlled device; a second current mirror configured to cause a second mirror current to flow through a second load device based on a second control signal received by the second controlled device; and an amplifier configured to output a voltage signal based on the first mirror current flowing through the first load device and the second mirror current flowing through the second load device. The first control signal is substantially proportional to a first drive signal applied to a first controlled remote device, and the second control signal is substantially proportional to a second drive signal applied to of a second controlled remote device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 13, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 24, 2016
    Assignee: Western Digital Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Richard A. Schwab, John R. Agness
  • Publication number: 20160124444
    Abstract: An electrical circuit includes: a controlled switch; one or more temperature sensors in thermal contact with the controlled switch; and a control unit configured to: receive a temperature signal from the one or more temperature sensors; compare the received temperature signal to a predetermined threshold; and in response to the received temperature signal exceeding the predetermined threshold, render the controlled switch inoperative.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 12, 2016
    Publication date: May 5, 2016
    Inventors: JOHN R. AGNESS, WILLIAM K. LAIRD
  • Patent number: 9304560
    Abstract: A data storage device (DSD) includes a power supply from a host and a charge storage element. A current transient is detected on the power supply from the host and it is determined whether the current transient exceeds a current threshold. When the current transient exceeds the current threshold, power is drawn from the charge storage element to reduce power drawn from the host.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 2, 2013
    Date of Patent: April 5, 2016
    Assignee: Western Digital Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: William K. Laird, John R. Agness, Henry S. Ung, Ryan P. Mayo
  • Patent number: 9275927
    Abstract: Self-heating integrated circuits are provided. In one embodiment, a self-heating integrated circuit comprises a drive circuit configured to drive a device and a controller configured to selectively operate the drive circuit in a first mode or a second mode. In the first mode, the controller is configured to operate the drive circuit to drive the device and, in the second mode, the controller is configured to operate the drive circuit to heat the integrated circuit to a target temperature.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 1, 2016
    Assignee: Western Digital Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Timothy A. Ferris, John R. Agness
  • Patent number: 9251839
    Abstract: A data storage device coupled to a host power supply is disclosed and includes a spindle motor and Voice Coil Motor (VCM) circuitry, a power device coupled to the host power supply via a first host supply line and coupled to the spindle motor and VCM circuitry, wherein the power device comprises a first voltage rail, a first isolation circuit, and control circuitry, wherein the power device receives a first supply voltage on the first voltage rail via the first host supply line and provides the first supply voltage to the spindle motor and VCM circuitry via the first isolation circuit, and wherein the control circuitry is operable to monitor the first voltage rail for an overvoltage event and, when the overvoltage event is detected, control the first isolation circuit to disconnect the spindle motor and VCM circuitry from the first voltage rail.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 27, 2013
    Date of Patent: February 2, 2016
    Assignee: Western Digital Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: John R. Agness, William K. Laird, Henry S. Ung, Andre Pratama, Ronald G. Gayler
  • Patent number: 9245540
    Abstract: An electrical circuit includes: a controlled switch; one or more temperature sensors in thermal contact with the controlled switch; and a control unit configured to: receive a temperature signal from the one or more temperature sensors; compare the received temperature signal to a predetermined threshold; and in response to the received temperature signal exceeding the predetermined threshold, render the controlled switch inoperative.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 29, 2014
    Date of Patent: January 26, 2016
    Assignee: Western Digital Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: John R. Agness, William K. Laird
  • Patent number: 9143005
    Abstract: A backup energy storage module is disclosed including a plurality of charge storage elements, each charge storage element operable to be charged to a backup voltage. The backup energy storage module further includes control circuitry operable to monitor a supply voltage that provides power to a load, determine when the supply voltage falls below a threshold level, select a first charge storage element to provide power to the load, determine when the backup voltage on the first charge storage element falls to a reference level, and select a second charge storage element to provide power to the load if the supply voltage remains below the threshold level.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 2012
    Date of Patent: September 22, 2015
    Assignee: Western Digital Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: William K. Laird, John R. Agness, Henry S. Ung
  • Patent number: 9058834
    Abstract: A power control device comprising an always-on-domain (AOD) which includes control logic circuitry for controlling power from a power source, load switches, bias current generators. The power control device also includes, outside of the AOD, functional blocks. The control logic circuitry is configured to receive a signal to go into a lower power state, initiate a shut-down sequence of the load switches and the bias current generators of the AOD, to disable circuitry outside of the AOD, including the functional blocks of the power control device and loads controlled by the power control device, and operate in a low power state to detect a wake-up signal. The shut-down sequence may additionally include sequencing off voltage regulators outside of the AOD and a clock control inside the AOD.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 10, 2014
    Date of Patent: June 16, 2015
    Assignee: Western Digital Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Timothy A. Ferris, John R. Agness
  • Patent number: 8970977
    Abstract: A disk drive is disclosed comprising a head actuated over a disk, a spindle motor operable to rotate the disk, and a ramp near an outer periphery of the disk. When an emergency condition is detected, the head is unloaded onto the ramp, and failure analysis data identifying a cause of the emergency condition is logged.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 28, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 3, 2015
    Assignee: Western Digital Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: John R. Agness, Mingying Gu
  • Publication number: 20140380067
    Abstract: A data storage device (DSD) includes a power supply from a host and a charge storage element. A current transient is detected on the power supply from the host and it is determined whether the current transient exceeds a current threshold. When the current transient exceeds the current threshold, power is drawn from the charge storage element to reduce power drawn from the host.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 2, 2013
    Publication date: December 25, 2014
    Applicant: WESTERN DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
    Inventors: WILLIAM K. LAIRD, JOHN R. AGNESS, HENRY S. UNG, RYAN P. MAYO
  • Patent number: 8779574
    Abstract: A semiconductor die that includes a plurality of non-metallic slots that extend through a current routing line is disclosed. The semiconductor die comprises a semiconductor circuit that includes a plurality of semiconductor components and a current trace line that is coupled to a first semiconductor component. Further, the semiconductor die comprises a current routing line that is coupled with the current trace line. The current routing line includes a plurality of non-metallic slots that extend through the current routing line.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 1, 2013
    Date of Patent: July 15, 2014
    Assignee: Western Digital Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: John R. Agness, Mingying Gu
  • Patent number: 8767354
    Abstract: A data storage device is disclosed comprising a non-volatile memory and control circuitry comprising an interface operable to receive a supply voltage, and a capacitor. An operating voltage regulator converts the supply voltage into an operating voltage used to operate the non-volatile memory. The supply voltage is used to charge the capacitor to a capacitor voltage higher than the supply voltage, and during a power failure, a backup voltage regulator converts the capacitor voltage into a backup voltage substantially equal to the supply voltage. The operating voltage regulator converts the backup voltage into the operating voltage used to operate the non-volatile memory.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 8, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 1, 2014
    Assignee: Western Digital Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Timothy A. Ferris, John R. Agness, Robert P. Ryan
  • Patent number: 8724422
    Abstract: A data storage system is disclosed including a data storage device having a controller coupled to non-volatile semiconductor memory and a power device having a common power rail and first, second, and third spindle phase switching elements, the common power rail receiving an input voltage and providing power to the data storage device and the power device. The data storage system further includes an inductor coupled between outputs of the first and second spindle phase switching elements, and a charge storage element coupled between the second spindle phase switching element output and ground. The power device further includes control circuitry that controls the first and second spindle phase switching elements to generate boost output voltage for charging the charge storage element during a boost mode, the boost output voltage enabling the controller to perform a data operation in an event of an interruption of power to the data storage system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 29, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 13, 2014
    Assignee: Western Digital Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: John R. Agness, William K. Laird, Henry S. Ung
  • Patent number: 8432031
    Abstract: A semiconductor die that includes a plurality of non-metallic slots that extend through a current routing line is disclosed. The semiconductor die comprises a semiconductor circuit that includes a plurality of semiconductor components and a current trace line that is coupled to a first semiconductor component. Further, the semiconductor die comprises a current routing line that is coupled with the current trace line. The current routing line includes a plurality of non-metallic slots that extend through the current routing line.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 2009
    Date of Patent: April 30, 2013
    Assignee: Western Digital Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: John R. Agness, Mingying Gu
  • Patent number: 8358145
    Abstract: Self-heating integrated circuits are provided. In one embodiment, a self-heating integrated circuit comprises a drive circuit configured to drive a device and a controller configured to selectively operate the drive circuit in a first mode or a second mode. In the first mode, the controller is configured to operate the drive circuit to drive the device and, in the second mode, the controller is configured to operate the drive circuit to heat the integrated circuit to a target temperature.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 19, 2009
    Date of Patent: January 22, 2013
    Assignee: Western Digital Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Timothy A. Ferris, John R. Agness