Patents by Inventor Mark Niederberger

Mark Niederberger 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: 11112276
    Abstract: An arrangement (2) to calibrate a capacitive sensor interface (1) includes a capacitive sensor (10) having a capacitance (cmem, cmemsp, cmemsm) and a charge storing circuit (20) having a changeable capacitance (cdum, cdump, cdumm). A test circuit (30) applies a test signal (vtst) to the capacitive sensor (10) and the charge storing circuit (20). An amplifier circuit (40) has a first input connection (E40a) coupled to the capacitive sensor (10) and a second input connection (E40b) coupled to the charge storing circuit (20). The amplifier circuit (40) provides an output signal (Vout) in dependence on a first input signal (?Verr1) applied to the first input connection (E40a) and a second input signal (?Verr2) applied to the second input connection (E40b). A control circuit (60) is configured to trim the capacitance (cdum, cdump, cdumm) of the charge storing circuit (20) such that the level of the output signal (Vout) tends to the level of zero.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 7, 2018
    Date of Patent: September 7, 2021
    Assignee: Knowles Electronics, LLC
    Inventors: Colin Steele, Rene Scheuner, Thomas Christen, Mark Niederberger
  • Patent number: 11089419
    Abstract: The microphone comprises a housing (1, 2), which has an inner volume (12) filled with a gas, an opening (10) of the housing, an acoustic sensor (3) arranged in the housing, a diaphragm (13) of the acoustic sensor located above the opening, and a heater (14) in the inner volume. The acoustic sensor may especially comprise a microelectromechanical system. The gas is heated from inside the inner volume to increase the pressure and generate a corresponding signal of the acoustic sensor (3). This signal can be used for self-calibration of the sensitivity or for self-diagnostics to check the function of the microphone.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 26, 2018
    Date of Patent: August 10, 2021
    Assignee: AMS INTERNATIONAL AG
    Inventor: Mark Niederberger
  • Patent number: 11031866
    Abstract: A charge pump circuit comprises a series circuit of a number N of stage circuits. A stage circuit comprises a converter circuit, a stage output, a stage input coupled via the converter circuit to the stage output, a first clock input and a second clock input coupled to the converter circuit, a control input and an activation transistor having a control terminal coupled to the control input and a first terminal coupled to the stage output.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 15, 2019
    Date of Patent: June 8, 2021
    Assignee: ams International AG
    Inventors: Mark Niederberger, Adrian Ryser, Luca Bettini
  • Patent number: 10972059
    Abstract: A MEMS sensor (1) comprises a MEMS transducer (10) being coupled to a MEMS interface circuit (20). The MEMS interface circuit (20) comprises a bias voltage generator (100), a differential amplifier (200), a capacitor (300) and a feedback control circuit (400). The bias voltage generator (100) generates a bias voltage (Vbias) for operating the MEMS transducer. The variable capacitor (300) is connected to one of the input nodes (I200a) of the differential amplifier (200). At least one of the output nodes (A200a, A200b) of the differential amplifier is coupled to a base terminal (T110) of an output filter (110) of the bias voltage generator (100). Any disturbing signal from the bias voltage generator (100) is a common-mode signal that is divided equally on the input nodes (I200a, I200b) of the differential amplifier (200) and is therefore rejected.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 24, 2017
    Date of Patent: April 6, 2021
    Assignee: AMS INTERNATIONAL AG
    Inventors: Thomas Froehlich, Mark Niederberger, Colin Steele, Rene Scheuner, Thomas Christen, Lukas Perktold, Duy-Dong Pham
  • Publication number: 20210099079
    Abstract: A charge pump circuit comprises a series circuit of a number N of stage circuits. A stage circuit comprises a converter circuit, a stage output, a stage input coupled via the converter circuit to the stage output, a first clock input and a second clock input coupled to the converter circuit, a control input and an activation transistor having a control terminal coupled to the control input and a first terminal coupled to the stage output.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 15, 2019
    Publication date: April 1, 2021
    Applicant: ams International AG
    Inventors: Mark Niederberger, Adrian Ryser, Luca Bettini
  • Publication number: 20210067881
    Abstract: An interface circuit comprises a signal path including a front-end charge amplifier coupling an input of the interface circuit to an output of the interface circuit, and a DC control loop separate from the signal path. In some implementations, the interface circuit is part of a MEMS sensor that includes a MEMS transducer having an output coupled to the input of the interface circuit. The interface circuit can, in some cases, allow faster settling of the circuit to its steady-state operating point.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 17, 2018
    Publication date: March 4, 2021
    Inventors: Mark Niederberger, Lukas Perktold
  • Publication number: 20200249052
    Abstract: An arrangement (2) to calibrate a capacitive sensor interface (1) comprises a capacitive sensor (10) having a capacitance (cmem, cmemsp, cmemsm) and a charge storing circuit (20) having a changeable capacitance (cdum, cdump, cdumm). A test circuit (30) applies a test signal (vtst) to the capacitive sensor (10) and the charge storing circuit (20). An amplifier circuit (40) has a first input connection (E40a) coupled to the capacitive sensor (10) and a second input connection (E40b) coupled to the charge storing circuit (20). The amplifier circuit (40) provides an output signal (Vout) in dependence on a first input signal (?Verr1) applied to the first input connection (E40a) and a second input signal (?Verr2) applied to the second input connection (E40b). A control circuit (60) is configured to trim the capacitance (cdum, cdump, cdumm) of the charge storing circuit (20) such that the level of the output signal (Vout) tends to the level of zero.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 7, 2018
    Publication date: August 6, 2020
    Inventors: Colin Steele, Rene Scheuner, Thomas Christen, Mark Niederberger
  • Publication number: 20200252728
    Abstract: A sensor arrangement is provided, including a first capacitive sensor and a second capacitive sensor. A charge pump is coupled to the first capacitive sensor and to the second capacitive sensor, the charge pump being operable to deliver a positive bias voltage. A differential output has a first terminal coupled to the first capacitive sensor and a second terminal coupled to the second capacitive sensor.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 5, 2020
    Publication date: August 6, 2020
    Inventor: Mark NIEDERBERGER
  • Patent number: 10615753
    Abstract: An amplifier circuit (AC) for amplifying an output signal (OS) of a capacitive sensor (M) comprises a first input terminal (AIN) to receive the output signal (OS) of the capacitive sensor (M) and a second input terminal (BIN) to receive a bias voltage (Vbias) of the capacitive sensor (M). The amplifier circuit (AC) comprises an amplifier (A) for amplifying the output signal (OS) and a control circuit (CF) arranged in a feedback loop (FL) of the amplifier (A) being configured to control a DC voltage level at an input connection (A1) of the amplifier (A). A bias voltage sensing circuit (BVS) senses a change of the level of the bias voltage (Vbias) at the second input terminal (BIN) and changes the bandwidth of the feedback loop (FL) in dependence on the sensed change of the level of the bias voltage (Vbias).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 10, 2017
    Date of Patent: April 7, 2020
    Assignee: ams AG
    Inventors: Lukas Perktold, Mark Niederberger, René Scheuner
  • Publication number: 20200015027
    Abstract: The microphone comprises a housing (1, 2), which has an inner volume (12) filled with a gas, an opening (10) of the housing, an acoustic sensor (3) arranged in the housing, a diaphragm (13) of the acoustic sensor located above the opening, and a heater (14) in the inner volume. The acoustic sensor may especially comprise a microelectromechanical system. The gas is heated from inside the inner volume to increase the pressure and generate a corresponding signal of the acoustic sensor (3). This signal can be used for self-calibration of the sensitivity or for self-diagnostics to check the function of the microphone.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 26, 2018
    Publication date: January 9, 2020
    Inventor: Mark Niederberger
  • Publication number: 20190356282
    Abstract: A MEMS sensor (1) comprises a MEMS transducer (10) being coupled to a MEMS interface circuit (20). The MEMS interface circuit (20) comprises a bias voltage generator (100), a differential amplifier (200), a capacitor (300) and a feedback control circuit (400). The bias voltage generator (100) generates a bias voltage (Vbias) for operating the MEMS transducer. The variable capacitor (300) is connected to one of the input nodes (I200a) of the differential amplifier (200). At least one of the output nodes (A200a, A200b) of the differential amplifier is coupled to a base terminal (T110) of an output filter (110) of the bias voltage generator (100). Any disturbing signal from the bias voltage generator (100) is a common-mode signal that is divided equally on the input nodes (I200a, I200b) of the differential amplifier (200) and is therefore rejected.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 24, 2017
    Publication date: November 21, 2019
    Inventors: Thomas Froehlich, Mark Niederberger, Colin Steele, Rene Scheuner, Thomas Christen, Lukas Perktold, Duy-Dong Pham
  • Publication number: 20190036490
    Abstract: An amplifier circuit (AC) for amplifying an output signal (OS) of a capacitive sensor (M) comprises a first input terminal (AIN) to receive the output signal (OS) of the capacitive sensor (M) and a second input terminal (BIN) to receive a bias voltage (Vbias) of the capacitive sensor (M). The amplifier circuit (AC) comprises an amplifier (A) for amplifying the output signal (OS) and a control circuit (CF) arranged in a feedback loop (FL) of the amplifier (A) being configured to control a DC voltage level at an input connection (A1) of the amplifier (A). A bias voltage sensing circuit (BVS) senses a change of the level of the bias voltage (Vbias) at the second input terminal (BIN) and changes the bandwidth of the feedback loop (FL) in dependence on the sensed change of the level of the bias voltage (Vbias).
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 10, 2017
    Publication date: January 31, 2019
    Inventors: Lukas PERKTOLD, Mark NIEDERBERGER, René BLATTMANN
  • Patent number: 9753482
    Abstract: A voltage reference source includes a source block, a first resistor having a first terminal coupled to a first terminal of the source block, a reference output for providing a reference voltage, and a first and a second mirror transistor forming a first current mirror. The first mirror transistor couples a second terminal of the source block to a supply voltage terminal and the second mirror transistor couples the reference output to the supply voltage terminal. A series connection of a second resistor and a diode is arranged between the reference output and the first terminal of the first resistor. A mirror current flows through the second mirror transistor and the series connection to the first terminal of the first resistor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 12, 2015
    Date of Patent: September 5, 2017
    Assignee: AMS AG
    Inventors: Mark Niederberger, Thomas Mueller
  • Patent number: 9685866
    Abstract: In an embodiment a shunt driver circuit has a first and a second connection terminal (N1, N2) forming a two-wire interface (N1, N2), the first connection terminal (N1) being prepared to receive a supply power and to provide an output signal (Sout), the second connection terminal (N2) being connected to a reference potential terminal (10), an Operational Transconductance Amplifier, OTA, (11) comprising a first input coupled to the first connection terminal (N1), a second input for receiving a first reference signal (Sref1) and an output (12) for providing a signal (S12) depending on a difference between an input signal on the first input and the first reference signal (Sref1), a capacitor (C1) coupled between the output (12) and the first input of the OTA (11) via the second connection terminal (N2) in a control loop, and a controlled current source (13) coupled between the output (12) of the OTA (11) and the second connection terminal (N2).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 25, 2016
    Date of Patent: June 20, 2017
    Assignee: AMS AG
    Inventor: Mark Niederberger
  • Patent number: 9519012
    Abstract: A detection circuit has a detection path and a control path. The detection path comprises a signal limiter (1) with a signal input (11), which is connected to a detection node (OUT), and a filter (2) which is coupled to a signal output (12) of the signal limiter (1). The detection path also comprises a short circuit detector (3) with a first and a second detector input (31, 32) and a detector output (33), wherein the first detector input (31) is coupled to the filter (2). The control path comprises a control circuit (4) for controlling a switch (5) which is coupled to the detector output (33) and to the filter (2) by means of a control input (41) and is connected to the switch (5) by means of a control output (42). The switch (5) is coupled to the detection node (OUT) and to a supply node (VSS, VHV).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 3, 2011
    Date of Patent: December 13, 2016
    Assignee: AMS AG
    Inventors: Mark Niederberger, Vincenzo Leonardo
  • Publication number: 20160218622
    Abstract: In an embodiment a shunt driver circuit has a first and a second connection terminal (N1, N2) forming a two-wire interface (N1, N2), the first connection terminal (N1) being prepared to receive a supply power and to provide an output signal (Sout), the second connection terminal (N2) being connected to a reference potential terminal (10), an Operational Transconductance Amplifier, OTA, (11) comprising a first input coupled to the first connection terminal (N1), a second input for receiving a first reference signal (Sref1) and an output (12) for providing a signal (S12) depending on a difference between an input signal on the first input and the first reference signal (Sref1), a capacitor (C1) coupled between the output (12) and the first input of the OTA (11) via the second connection terminal (N2) in a control loop, and a controlled current source (13) coupled between the output (12) of the OTA (11) and the second connection terminal (N2).
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 25, 2016
    Publication date: July 28, 2016
    Inventor: Mark Niederberger
  • Publication number: 20160139621
    Abstract: A voltage reference source (10) comprises a source block (21), a first resistor (16) having a first terminal coupled to a first terminal (22) of the source block (21), a reference output (15) for providing a reference voltage (S6), and a first and a second mirror transistor (11, 12) forming a first current mirror (13). The first mirror transistor (11) couples a second terminal (23) of the source block (21) to a supply voltage terminal (14) and the second mirror transistor (12) couples the reference output (15) to the supply voltage terminal (14). A series connection (17) of a second resistor (18) and a diode (19) is arranged between the reference output (15) and the first terminal of the first resistor (16). A mirror current (S3) flows through the second mirror transistor (12) and the series connection (17) to the first terminal of the first resistor (16).
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 12, 2015
    Publication date: May 19, 2016
    Inventors: Mark NIEDERBERGER, Thomas MUELLER
  • Patent number: 8779858
    Abstract: An amplifier circuit comprises a measurement path with an amplifier (1) for providing an output voltage (Vout) depending on a measuring current (Ipd) with a first and a second amplifier input (11, 12), and an amplifier output (13). A return path of the amplifier circuit comprises a first filter (2), an auxiliary amplifier (3) and a second filter (4). In this case, the first filter (2) is designed to filter a DC voltage from the output voltage (Vout) and is connected to the amplifier output (13). The auxiliary amplifier (3) serves to convert an input voltage (Vfil) into an output current (Ifil) and has a first and a second auxiliary amplifier input (31, 32) and an auxiliary amplifier output (33). In this case, the first auxiliary amplifier input (31) is connected to the first filter (2). The second filter (4) is designed to filter noise from the output current (Ifil) and couples the auxiliary amplifier output (33) to the first amplifier input (11).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 3, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 15, 2014
    Assignee: ams AG
    Inventors: Mark Niederberger, Vincenzo Leonardo
  • Publication number: 20130076369
    Abstract: A detection circuit has a detection path and a control path. The detection path comprises a signal limiter (1) with a signal input (11), which is connected to a detection node (OUT), and a filter (2) which is coupled to a signal output (12) of the signal limiter (1). The detection path also comprises a short circuit detector (3) with a first and a second detector input (31, 32) and a detector output (33), wherein the first detector input (31) is coupled to the filter (2). The control path comprises a control circuit (4) for controlling a switch (5) which is coupled to the detector output (33) and to the filter (2) by means of a control input (41) and is connected to the switch (5) by means of a control output (42). The switch (5) is coupled to the detection node (OUT) and to a supply node (VSS, VHV).
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 3, 2011
    Publication date: March 28, 2013
    Applicant: ams AG
    Inventors: Mark Niederberger, Vincenzo Leonardo
  • Publication number: 20130069719
    Abstract: An amplifier circuit comprises a measurement path with an amplifier (1) for providing an output voltage (Vout) depending on a measuring current (Ipd) with a first and a second amplifier input (11, 12), and an amplifier output (13). A return path of the amplifier circuit comprises a first filter (2), an auxiliary amplifier (3) and a second filter (4). In this case, the first filter (2) is designed to filter a DC voltage from the output voltage (Vout) and is connected to the amplifier output (13). The auxiliary amplifier (3) serves to convert an input voltage (Vfil) into an output current (Ifil) and has a first and a second auxiliary amplifier input (31, 32) and an auxiliary amplifier output (33). In this case, the first auxiliary amplifier input (31) is connected to the first filter (2). The second filter (4) is designed to filter noise from the output current (Ifil) and couples the auxiliary amplifier output (33) to the first amplifier input (11).
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 3, 2011
    Publication date: March 21, 2013
    Applicant: Schloss Premstatten
    Inventors: Mark Niederberger, Vincenzo Leonardo