Patents by Inventor Michael Couleur

Michael Couleur 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: 11552563
    Abstract: A power converter is disclosed. The power converter is configured to provide a regulated output voltage. The power converter includes a first control loop configured to generate a first voltage based on a rate of change of the regulated output voltage. A second control loop is configured to generate a second voltage based on an output current provided by the power converter. An amplifier is configured to generate a third voltage based on the first and second voltages. A control circuit is configured to control the regulated output voltage based on the third voltage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 18, 2020
    Date of Patent: January 10, 2023
    Assignee: Apple Inc.
    Inventors: Nikola Jovanovic, Michael Couleur, Siarhei Meliukh
  • Publication number: 20220345040
    Abstract: A hysteretic current control switching power converter with a clock-controlled switching frequency is disclosed. A power converter includes a switching circuit including a high side switch and a low side switch coupled to one another at a switching node, with an inductor being coupled between the switching node and a regulated supply voltage node. The power converter further includes a control circuit configured to alternately cause activation of the high side switch and the low side switch, wherein the control circuit is configured to activate the low side switch in response to a first voltage reaching peak threshold value, the first voltage corresponding to a current through the inductor. A ramp voltage circuit is configured to, in response to a clock signal, generate a ramp voltage, wherein the peak threshold value is based on the ramp voltage.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 27, 2021
    Publication date: October 27, 2022
    Inventors: Michael Couleur, Nicola Rasera, Nikola Jovanovic, Pietro Gabriele Gambetta
  • Publication number: 20220224216
    Abstract: Circuitry for bootstrapping and precharging a gate of a field-effect transistor (FET) is disclosed. In one embodiment, an apparatus includes a first transistor coupled to a switching node and further coupled to receive a supply voltage from a supply voltage node, and a second transistor coupled between the switching node and a ground node, wherein the first and second transistors are of a same type. A precharge circuit is configured to precharge a gate terminal of the first transistor to a voltage that is less than a supply voltage on the voltage supply node. The apparatus also includes a bootstrap circuit. Subsequent to precharging the gate terminal of the first transistor, the bootstrap circuit is configured to cause activation of the first transistor by charging the gate terminal to a voltage greater than the supply voltage.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 8, 2021
    Publication date: July 14, 2022
    Inventors: Giulio Maria Iadicicco, Michael Couleur, Siarhei Meliukh
  • Patent number: 11381172
    Abstract: A control system with a voltage-to-time converter for combined buck-boost converter using a single inductor. The system includes a voltage-to-time converter circuit having first and second inputs coupled to receive first and second voltage signals, respectively. The voltage-to- time converter includes a comparator configured to compare the first voltage signal and the second voltage signal and to generate a comparator output signal at a first level if the first voltage is greater than the second voltage and at a second level if the second voltage is greater than the first voltage. The voltage-to-time converter further includes an output circuit configured to generate first and second output signals based on the comparator output signal. The output circuit is configured to provide a selected one of the first or second output signals at the first level for a duration dependent on a difference between respective voltages of the first and second voltage signals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 8, 2020
    Date of Patent: July 5, 2022
    Assignee: Apple Inc.
    Inventors: Michael Couleur, Nicola Rasera, Siarhei Meliukh
  • Patent number: 11349396
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for operating a DC-DC converter in an interleaved (or rotating) pulse frequency modulation (PFM) mode is disclosed. A DC-DC converter includes a number of inductor pairs, with each inductor coupled to a corresponding pulse control circuit. During a cycle in which one of the pulse control circuits sources a current pulse through its respectively coupled inductor, a second pulse control circuit coupled to the other inductor of the pair determines if a voltage on its output node (e.g., where it is coupled to its inductor) is less than a threshold voltage. Responsive to determining that the voltage on its output node is less than the threshold, the second pulse control circuit activates a current path through the other inductor of the pair.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 20, 2020
    Date of Patent: May 31, 2022
    Assignee: Apple Inc.
    Inventors: Michael Couleur, Shawn Searles, Nikola Jovanovic
  • Publication number: 20220158555
    Abstract: A power converter is disclosed. The power converter is configured to provide a regulated output voltage. The power converter includes a first control loop configured to generate a first voltage based on a rate of change of the regulated output voltage. A second control loop is configured to generate a second voltage based on an output current provided by the power converter. An amplifier is configured to generate a third voltage based on the first and second voltages. A control circuit is configured to control the regulated output voltage based on the third voltage.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 18, 2020
    Publication date: May 19, 2022
    Inventors: Nikola Jovanovic, Michael Couleur, Siarhei Meliukh
  • Patent number: 11171563
    Abstract: A power converter circuit that includes a switch node coupled to a regulated power supply node via an inductor may, during a discharge cycle, sink current from the regulated power supply node. A control circuit may generate the rising and falling ramp signals using voltage levels of an input power supply node and the regulated power supply node. The control circuit may also determine a duration of the discharge cycle using results of comparing respective voltage levels of the generated rising and falling ramp signals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 30, 2019
    Date of Patent: November 9, 2021
    Assignee: Apple Inc.
    Inventors: Michael Couleur, Yesim Inam, Dashun Xue
  • Publication number: 20210247827
    Abstract: A power converter circuit that includes a switch circuit, and multiple phase and amplifier circuits, may generate a voltage level on a regulated power supply node of a computer system. The amplifier circuits may generate respective demand currents using a voltage level of the regulated power supply node and a reference voltage. In response to activation of a multi-phase operating mode, the switch circuit may short the outputs of the amplifier circuits to generate a common demand current. The multiple phase circuits may sequentially source current to regulated power supply node using the common demand current.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 7, 2020
    Publication date: August 12, 2021
    Inventors: Michael Couleur, Nicola Rasera, Siarhei Meliukh
  • Patent number: 11086378
    Abstract: A power converter circuit that includes a switch circuit, and multiple phase and amplifier circuits, may generate a voltage level on a regulated power supply node of a computer system. The amplifier circuits may generate respective demand currents using a voltage level of the regulated power supply node and a reference voltage. In response to activation of a multi-phase operating mode, the switch circuit may short the outputs of the amplifier circuits to generate a common demand current. The multiple phase circuits may sequentially source current to regulated power supply node using the common demand current.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 7, 2020
    Date of Patent: August 10, 2021
    Assignee: Apple Inc.
    Inventors: Michael Couleur, Nicola Rasera, Siarhei Meliukh
  • Publication number: 20210226536
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for operating a DC-DC converter in an interleaved (or rotating) pulse frequency modulation (PFM) mode is disclosed. A DC-DC converter includes a number of inductor pairs, with each inductor coupled to a corresponding pulse control circuit. During a cycle in which one of the pulse control circuits sources a current pulse through its respectively coupled inductor, a second pulse control circuit coupled to the other inductor of the pair determines if a voltage on its output node (e.g., where it is coupled to its inductor) is less than a threshold voltage. Responsive to determining that the voltage on its output node is less than the threshold, the second pulse control circuit activates a current path through the other inductor of the pair.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 20, 2020
    Publication date: July 22, 2021
    Inventors: Michael Couleur, Shawn Searles, Nikola Jovanovic
  • Publication number: 20210126539
    Abstract: A DC-DC converter that provides both buck and boost voltages using a single inductor is disclosed. The DC-DC converter includes an H-bridge circuit having an inductor having first and second terminals, and a number of switches. The switches include a first switch coupled between the second inductor terminal and a boost voltage node, a second switch coupled between the second inductor terminal and a buck voltage node, and a third switch coupled between the first inductor terminal and an input voltage node. A control circuit is coupled to activate the switches in accordance with a number of different phases such that a buck voltage (e.g., less than the input voltage) is provided on the buck voltage node, while a boost voltage (e.g., greater than the input voltage) is provided on the boost voltage node.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 8, 2020
    Publication date: April 29, 2021
    Inventors: Michael Couleur, Nicola Rasera, Siarhei Meliukh
  • Patent number: 10903741
    Abstract: A power converter circuit included in a computer system may include an adiabatic charge pump which includes multiple capacitors different numbers of which are used to charge and discharge a switch node coupled to regulated power supply node via an inductor. A control circuit may control the dividing ratio of the charge pump circuit as well as determine respective durations of when the charge pump circuit is charging and discharging the switch node.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 11, 2020
    Date of Patent: January 26, 2021
    Assignee: Apple Inc.
    Inventors: Michael Couleur, Nikola Javanovic, Siarhei Meliukh
  • Publication number: 20210018543
    Abstract: A power converter circuit included in a computer system may charge and discharge a switch node coupled to a regulated power supply node via an inductor. The power converter circuit may generate a reference clock signal using a system clock signal and a voltage level of the switch node. The reference clock signal may be used to initiate a charge cycle, whose duration may be based on generated ramp signals.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 19, 2019
    Publication date: January 21, 2021
    Inventors: Michael Couleur, Andrea Acquas, Nikola Jovanovic
  • Patent number: 10884043
    Abstract: A power converter circuit included in a computer system may charge and discharge a switch node coupled to a regulated power supply node via an inductor. The power converter circuit may generate a reference clock signal using a system clock signal and a voltage level of the switch node. The reference clock signal may be used to initiate a charge cycle, whose duration may be based on generated ramp signals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 19, 2019
    Date of Patent: January 5, 2021
    Assignee: Apple Inc.
    Inventors: Michael Couleur, Andrea Acquas, Nikola Jovanovic
  • Publication number: 20200350819
    Abstract: A power converter circuit that includes a switch node coupled to a regulated power supply node via an inductor may, during a discharge cycle, sink current from the regulated power supply node. A control circuit may generate the rising and falling ramp signals using voltage levels of an input power supply node and the regulated power supply node. The control circuit may also determine a duration of the discharge cycle using results of comparing respective voltage levels of the generated rising and falling ramp signals.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 30, 2019
    Publication date: November 5, 2020
    Inventors: Michael Couleur, Yesim Inam, Dashun Xue
  • Patent number: 10804803
    Abstract: A DC-DC converter that provides both buck and boost voltages using a single inductor is disclosed. The DC-DC converter includes an H-bridge circuit having an inductor having first and second terminals, and a number of switches. The switches include a first switch coupled between the second inductor terminal and a boost voltage node, a second switch coupled between the second inductor terminal and a buck voltage node, and a third switch coupled between the first inductor terminal and an input voltage node. A control circuit is coupled to activate the switches in accordance with a number of different phases such that a buck voltage (e.g., less than the input voltage) is provided on the buck voltage node, while a boost voltage (e.g., greater than the input voltage) is provided on the boost voltage node.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 23, 2019
    Date of Patent: October 13, 2020
    Assignee: Apple Inc.
    Inventors: Michael Couleur, Nicola Rasera, Siarhei Meliukh
  • Patent number: 10763750
    Abstract: A power converter circuit included in a computer system may charge and discharge a switch node coupled to a regulated power supply node via an inductor. During a discharge cycle, the power converter circuit may sense a current being discharge from the regulated power supply node through the inductor into a ground supply node. The power converter circuit may also sense a noise current flowing in the ground supply node, and generate a control current using both the current being discharge and the noise current. Using the control current, the power converter circuit may halt the discharge cycle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 4, 2019
    Date of Patent: September 1, 2020
    Assignee: Apple Inc.
    Inventors: Nikola Jovanovic, Michael Couleur
  • Patent number: 10707761
    Abstract: A power converter circuit included in a computer system may charge and discharge a switch node coupled to a regulated power supply node via an inductor. During a charge cycle, the power converter circuit may generate a reference ramp signal that has an initial voltage level greater than that of the switch node. The power converter may also generate a sense ramp signal using the voltage level of the switch node, and halt the charge cycle using results of a comparison of the respective voltage levels of the reference ramp signal and the sense ramp signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 25, 2019
    Date of Patent: July 7, 2020
    Assignee: Apple Inc.
    Inventors: Michael Couleur, Andrea Acquas, Nicola Rasera
  • Patent number: 10644592
    Abstract: Systems, apparatuses, and methods for efficiently generating a stable output for a transient load for one or more components are described. In various embodiments, a power converter includes two feedback loops to separate the stability and the equivalent output resistance, which allows the bandwidth to increase. The first loop includes a compensator receiving an output current of an amplifier. Additionally, a first converter and a first current mirror generate a target current based on the output current of the amplifier. Based on the target current, multiple step-down converters generate an output voltage, which is returned to the amplifier through a resistor. The second loop includes a second converter with a first order series RC filter to reduce the second loop's response time. A second current mirror receives current from the second converter and generates a dynamically adapting feedback current, which flows through the resistor in the first loop.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 2018
    Date of Patent: May 5, 2020
    Assignee: Apple Inc.
    Inventors: Fabio Ongaro, Michael Couleur
  • Patent number: 10630174
    Abstract: Disclosed examples include a transient event detector circuit to detect transient events in a switching converter, including a DLL circuit to detect changes in a duty cycle of a pulse width modulation signal used to operate a switching converter, and an output circuit to provide a status output signal in a first state when no transient event is detected, and to provide the status output signal in a second state indicating a transient event in the switching converter in response to a detected change in the duty cycle of the pulse width modulation signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 2018
    Date of Patent: April 21, 2020
    Assignee: Texas Instruments Incorporated
    Inventors: Michael Couleur, Neil Gibson, Antonio Priego