Patents by Inventor Nicholas Paul Cowley

Nicholas Paul Cowley 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: 7065337
    Abstract: A single conversion tuner is provided for receiving digital terrestrial broadcast signals. The tuner comprises a single frequency changer comprising a mixer and local oscillator controlled by a PLL synthesiser. A non-alignable variable low pass filter is provided between the tuner input and the mixer, which is of the image reject type. The bandwidth of the filter is varied so as to track the local oscillator frequency to provide sufficient attenuation of the image channel without requiring any alignment during manufacture.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 14, 2003
    Date of Patent: June 20, 2006
    Assignee: Zarlink Semiconductor Limited
    Inventors: Nicholas Paul Cowley, Scott Cuthbertson, Matthew Timothy Aitken
  • Patent number: 7006162
    Abstract: An analogue single conversion tuner comprises a plurality of channels (1, 2, 3) for covering the whole of a desired reception bandwidth. Each tuner comprises an image reject mixer (18) connected to the tuner input (4) by a single tracking filter (16), for example of the single-tuned type.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 5, 2001
    Date of Patent: February 28, 2006
    Assignee: Zarlink Semiconductor Limited
    Inventors: Nicholas Paul Cowley, Arshad Madni
  • Patent number: 6968173
    Abstract: A tuner comprises a frequency changer which converts an input signal to a predetermined fixed intermediate frequency. The frequency changer is followed by an IF filter having a filter parameter, such as center frequency, which is electronically adjustable. A controller adjusts the adjustable filter characteristic so as to achieve a predetermined desired filtering performance, such as ensuring that the filter center frequency corresponds to the desired intermediate frequency. The controller comprises a local oscillator having the same type of tuned circuit as the IF filter. A phase locked loop compares the local oscillator frequency with a reference frequency and controls the tuned circuits of the IF filter and the local oscillator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 15, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 22, 2005
    Assignee: Zarlink Semiconductor Limited
    Inventor: Nicholas Paul Cowley
  • Patent number: 6954625
    Abstract: A tuner comprises a first frequency changer with a mixer and local oscillator. The output of the frequency changer is connected to a first intermediate frequency filter, whose output is connected to a second frequency changer. The output of the frequency changer is connected to the usual second intermediate frequency filter and to an amplitude detector. A reference oscillator is connectable under control of a controller via a multiplexer to the input of the mixer. During an alignment mode of the tuner, the reference signal from the oscillator is supplied to the mixer and the local oscillators and are controlled by the controller to sweep across a frequency range encompassing all possible pass frequencies of the filter. The controller monitors the output of the detector so as to establish the frequency response of the filter. Frequency offsets are then stored in the synthesizers and so as to center each channel during a reception mode on the actual center frequency of the filter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 26, 2002
    Date of Patent: October 11, 2005
    Assignee: Zarlink Semiconductor Limited
    Inventor: Nicholas Paul Cowley
  • Patent number: 6937670
    Abstract: A digital tuner has an input tuning range with lower and upper limit frequencies. An up converter converts an input signal to an intermediate frequency signal whose frequency is higher than the upper frequency limit of the input range. A downconverter is a zero intermediate frequency quadrature converter which converts the intermediate frequency signal to in-phase and quadrature baseband signals. The upconverter has a local oscillator fundamental frequency which is greater than the upper frequency limit of the input tuning range.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 22, 2001
    Date of Patent: August 30, 2005
    Assignee: Zarlink Semiconductor Limited
    Inventors: Nicholas Paul Cowley, Alison Payne, Mark Dawkins
  • Publication number: 20040266376
    Abstract: A tuner is provided for selecting a channel from a broadband radio frequency input signal containing a plurality of channels, such as a terrestrial broadcast signal. The tuner has an input which supplies the broadband signal to a filter. The output of the filter is connected to a mixer of a single frequency changer, which converts the selected channel to a predetermined non-zero intermediate frequency. The filter is a tracking radio frequency filter which tracks the frequency of the selected channel so as to attenuate the image channel. A controller receives from a demodulator a signal representing reception quality, such as bit error rate, and adjusts the tracking of the filter so as to achieve acceptable reception quality, such as an adequately low bit error rate. Alignment of the filter during manufacture is not, therefore, required.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 29, 2004
    Publication date: December 30, 2004
    Inventors: Nicholas Paul Cowley, Peter Coe
  • Publication number: 20040229561
    Abstract: A tuner is provided for selecting for reception any one of a plurality of channels in a broadband radio frequency signal supplied to its input. The tuner comprises a plurality of stages, at least some of whose gains and power consumptions can be adjusted by a controller in accordance with prevailing reception conditions. A frequency changer and variable gain amplifier provide a first filtering arrangement to reject non-adjacent channels and a tuneable filter rejects substantially all but the selected channel. Signal levels before the first filtering arrangement, between the first filtering arrangement and a second filtering arrangement formed by the tuneable filter, and after the second arrangement are supplied to the controller, which adapts the gain structure and/or individual stage power consumptions according to the prevailing reception conditions so as to provide an adequate performance for demodulation while reducing power consumption when extreme reception conditions are not encountered.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 25, 2004
    Publication date: November 18, 2004
    Inventors: Nicholas Paul Cowley, Keith Lloyd Jones
  • Publication number: 20040230999
    Abstract: A multi-channel tuner apparatus is provided which is capable of simultaneously and independently selecting a plurality of channels for reception. The apparatus comprises a plurality of tuners, each of which converts a selected channel to a near-zero intermediate frequency. The output signals from the tuners are supplied to respective sample/hold circuits, whose outputs are supplied to a single analogue/digital converter for multiplexing the tuner signals and converting them to the digital domain. A common demodulator arrangement processes the digital domain signal to extract the information from all of the selected channels.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 18, 2003
    Publication date: November 18, 2004
    Inventors: Peter Coe, Nicholas Paul Cowley
  • Publication number: 20040132422
    Abstract: A tuner for analogically and digitally modulated signals comprises a single tuner arrangement for converting any selected analog or digital channel to baseband or zero lF quadrature signals. Simple analog low pass filtering is applied before conversion in an ADC to the digital domain. A digital signal processor performs channel filtering and signal correction and supplies a signal to a digital demodulator. The processed digital signals are also supplied to a digital remodulator and DAC.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 16, 2003
    Publication date: July 8, 2004
    Inventors: Nicholas Paul Cowley, Richard Crossley
  • Publication number: 20040131124
    Abstract: A digital receiver comprises a quadrature zero intermediate frequency tuner supplying I and Q components to adjustable low pass analog filters. In the case of OFDM signals, a demodulator contains a measuring arrangement which determines the average power of carriers at the band edges and the average power of the OFDM carriers. These are compared and a controller increases the passbands of the filters 7 and 8 until the average level of the edge carrier is substantially equal to the average level of all of the carriers.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 27, 2003
    Publication date: July 8, 2004
    Inventors: Bernard Arambepola, Nicholas Paul Cowley
  • Patent number: 6727746
    Abstract: A radio frequency amplifier including a long tail pair of transistors provided with a tail current source. The bases of the transistors are driven by emitter follower transistor provided with collector load resistors. Feedback capacitors ensure stability and feedback resistors bias the amplifier without degrading noise performance. The amplifier may be driven unbalanced while retaining good second harmonic distortion performance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 22, 2002
    Date of Patent: April 27, 2004
    Assignee: Zarlink Semiconductor Limited
    Inventors: Arshad Madni, Franco Lauria, Mark Stephen John Mudd, Lance Rhys Trodd, Nicholas Paul Cowley
  • Patent number: 6714263
    Abstract: A multiple conversion tuner comprises a plurality of cascade-connected frequency changers, each of which comprises a mixer and a local oscillator. The tuner also comprises a local oscillator frequency selecting circuit which controls the frequencies of the local oscillators. The frequencies are controlled so that the final mixer converts a desired signal to the final intermediate frequency and so that the frequency band occupied by the desired signal at the output of each mixer is within the passband of the following intermediate frequency part of the tuner.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 22, 2001
    Date of Patent: March 30, 2004
    Assignee: Zarlink Semiconductor Limited
    Inventor: Nicholas Paul Cowley
  • Publication number: 20040058660
    Abstract: A single conversion tuner is provided for receiving digital terrestrial broadcast signals. The tuner comprises a single frequency changer comprising a mixer and local oscillator controlled by a PLL synthesiser. A non-alignable variable low pass filter is provided between the tuner input and the mixer, which is of the image reject type. The bandwidth of the filter is varied so as to track the local oscillator frequency to provide sufficient attenuation of the image channel without requiring any alignment during manufacture.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 14, 2003
    Publication date: March 25, 2004
    Inventors: Nicholas Paul Cowley, Scott Cuthbertson, Matthew Timothy Aitken
  • Publication number: 20040037375
    Abstract: A radio frequency tuner comprises a first frequency changer for block upconverting the channels of an input broadband signal in a first frequency range to a higher second frequency range. A multiplexer selects between the output of the first frequency changer and anyone of second broadband signals in the second frequency range. A second frequency changer has a variable frequency local oscillator for selecting and converting to I and Q baseband signals any selected channel in the broadband signal from the multiplexer.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 18, 2003
    Publication date: February 26, 2004
    Inventors: Nicholas Paul Cowley, Mark Stephen John Mudd
  • Publication number: 20030220088
    Abstract: A tuner is provided for converting any selected channel in an input band to zero intermediate frequency. The tuner input is connected to the inputs of a plurality of input stages. Each input stage comprises tracking filters having a passband which is tunable across the tuning range of the input stage, where the tuning ranges of the stages form a contiguous or overlapping set so as to provide tuning across the whole of the input band. Only one of the input stages is enabled at a time with the disabled stages being depowered. A frequency changer converts the selected channel from the enabled input stage to substantially zero intermediate frequency.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 10, 2003
    Publication date: November 27, 2003
    Inventors: Nicholas Paul Cowley, Mark Stephen John Mudd
  • Publication number: 20030214356
    Abstract: An amplifier, for example for use as an LNA of a radio frequency tuner, comprises a differential amplifying stage provided with an AGC core. The output signals are formed across load resistors at differential outputs. Compensating stages sum the signals at the differential outputs and subtract the resulting sum signal from the output signals so as to cancel the common mode signals including second order distortion products.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 14, 2003
    Publication date: November 20, 2003
    Inventors: Nicholas Paul Cowley, Franco Lauria
  • Publication number: 20030203725
    Abstract: A circuit stage such as an input stage is provided for a radio frequency tuner having an input which typically receives a broadband signal comprising many channels. The input stage comprises a low noise amplifier in the form of a long tail pair of transistors and a controllable tail current source. A level detector detects the signal level at the input of the amplifier and controls the tail current source so as to increase the tail current as the signal amplitude rises above a threshold level and so as to keep the tail current fixed when the signal amplitude is below the threshold.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 29, 2003
    Publication date: October 30, 2003
    Inventors: Nicholas Paul Cowley, Chi Man Kan, Matthew Aitken
  • Publication number: 20030133049
    Abstract: A multiple tuner arrangement is formed on a single integrated circuit having a common radio frequency input terminal. The terminal supplies a broadband input signal to a plurality of individual tuners, which may be identical to each other in construction. The tuners operate simultaneously and independently of each other to convert a channel in the radio frequency input to the appropriate output intermediate frequency and supply this to the channel output terminal. Features such as a databus interface and a common reference oscillator for channel frequency synthesisers need not therefore be duplicated.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 27, 2002
    Publication date: July 17, 2003
    Inventors: Nicholas Paul Cowley, Aaron Theodore
  • Publication number: 20030078018
    Abstract: A front end for a radio frequency tuner, for example for connection to a cable distribution network, including an input connected to a signal path comprising an LNA connected via an AGC stage to a signal splitter. The input path has a bandwidth sufficiently wide to pass all of the channels in an input signal and has a substantially constant voltage standing wave ratio over the bandwidth. The splitter supplies identical signals to several filtering paths, each of which comprises a fixed filter. The paths are selectable one at a time and the filters divide the input frequency band into a plurality of contiguous or slightly overlapping sub-bands. The output of the front end is supplied to, for example, a double conversion arrangement comprising an upconverter and a downconverter with first and second IF filters.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 20, 2002
    Publication date: April 24, 2003
    Inventors: Mark Stephen John Mudd, Nicholas Paul Cowley
  • Publication number: 20030052736
    Abstract: A radio frequency amplifier including a long tail pair of transistors provided with a tail current source. The bases of the transistors are driven by emitter follower transistor provided with collector load resistors. Feedback capacitors ensure stability and feedback resistors bias the amplifier without degrading noise performance. The amplifier may be driven unbalanced while retaining good second harmonic distortion performance.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 22, 2002
    Publication date: March 20, 2003
    Inventors: Arshad Madni, Franco Lauria, Mark Stephen John Mudd, Lance Rhys Trodd, Nicholas Paul Cowley