Patents by Inventor Robert J. Littrell

Robert J. Littrell 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: 12010488
    Abstract: An acoustic device is described and includes an acoustic sensor element configured to sense acoustic energy and produce an output signal and a threshold detector circuit including a switch having an input coupled to the output of the acoustic sensor element to receive the output signal, a control port that receives a control signal, and first and second output ports, a first channel including an analog-to-digital converter that operates at a first power level a second analog-to-digital converter that operates at a second higher power level, relative to the first power level and a threshold level detector that receives an output from the first analog-to-digital converter to produce the control signal having a first state that causes the switch feed the output signal from the acoustic sensor element to the second analog-to-digital converter when the first digitized output signal meets a threshold criteria.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 27, 2023
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2024
    Assignee: QUALCOMM Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Robert J. Littrell
  • Patent number: 11950052
    Abstract: A transducer of the preferred embodiment including a transducer and a plurality of adjacent, tapered cantilevered beams. Each of the beams define a beam base, a beam tip, and a beam body disposed between the beam base and the beam tip. The beams are arranged such that each of the beam tips extends toward a common area. Each beam is joined to the substrate along the beam base and is free from the substrate along the beam body. A preferred method of manufacturing a transducer can include: depositing alternating layers of piezoelectric and electrode onto the substrate in block, processing the deposited layers to define cantilever geometry in block, depositing metal traces in block, and releasing the cantilevered beams from the substrate in block.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 18, 2022
    Date of Patent: April 2, 2024
    Assignee: QUALCOMM Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Karl Grosh, Robert J. Littrell
  • Patent number: 11930334
    Abstract: A device that includes an adaptive acoustic detection circuit and an acoustic sensor device such as a microphone is described. The device includes in addition to the sensor a circuit configured to detect when an input stimulus to the sensor satisfies an adaptive threshold, and further configured to produce a signal upon detection that causes adjustment of performance of the device, wherein the adaptive threshold is a threshold value that varies over time in accordance with detected changes to sound of an environment in which the device is located.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 15, 2022
    Date of Patent: March 12, 2024
    Assignee: QUALCOMM Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert J. Littrell, Michael Carfore, Shuwan Xue
  • Patent number: 11899039
    Abstract: A sensor device that senses proper acceleration. The sensor device includes a substrate, a spacer layer supported over a first surface of the substrate, at least a first tapered cantilever beam element having a base and a tip, the base attached to the spacer layer, and which is supported over and spaced from the substrate by the spacer layer. The at least first tapered cantilever beam element tapers in width from the base portion to the tip portion. The at least first cantilever beam element further including at least a first layer comprised of a piezoelectric material, a pair of electrically conductive layers disposed on opposing surfaces of the first layer, and a mass supported at the tip portion of the at least first tapered cantilever beam element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 16, 2022
    Date of Patent: February 13, 2024
    Assignee: QUALCOMM Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Robert J. Littrell
  • Patent number: 11892466
    Abstract: A sensor device that senses proper acceleration. The sensor device includes a substrate, a spacer layer supported over a first surface of the substrate, at least a first tapered cantilever beam element having a base and a tip, the base attached to the spacer layer, and which is supported over and spaced from the substrate by the spacer layer. The at least first tapered cantilever beam element tapers in width from the base portion to the tip portion. The at least first cantilever beam element further including at least a first layer comprised of a piezoelectric material, a pair of electrically conductive layers disposed on opposing surfaces of the first layer, and a mass supported at the tip portion of the at least first tapered cantilever beam element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 16, 2022
    Date of Patent: February 6, 2024
    Assignee: QUALCOMM Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Robert J. Littrell
  • Patent number: 11871664
    Abstract: A transducer comprising: at least one piezoelectric layer; a first patterned conductive layer that is patterned with a first opening; a second patterned conductive layer that is patterned with a second opening; wherein at least one piezoelectric layer is between the first and the second patterned conductive layers in a stack; and wherein a position of the first opening is staggered relative to a position of the second opening in the stack to mitigate an occurrence of crack propagation through the layers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 13, 2020
    Date of Patent: January 9, 2024
    Assignee: QUALCOMM Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert J. Littrell, Karl Grosh
  • Publication number: 20230337544
    Abstract: A microphone including a casing having a front wall, a back wall, and a side wall joining the front wall to the back wall, a transducer mounted to the front wall, the transducer including a substrate and a transducing element, the transducing element having a transducer acoustic compliance dependent on the transducing element dimensions, a back cavity cooperatively defined between the back wall, the side wall, and the transducer, the back cavity having a back cavity acoustic compliance. The transducing element is dimensioned such that the transducing element length matches a predetermined resonant frequency and the transducing element width, thickness, and elasticity produces a transducer acoustic compliance within a given range of the back cavity acoustic compliance.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 27, 2023
    Publication date: October 19, 2023
    Inventors: Karl Grosh, Robert J. Littrell
  • Publication number: 20230308819
    Abstract: An acoustic device is described and includes an acoustic sensor element configured to sense acoustic energy and produce an output signal and a threshold detector circuit including a switch having an input coupled to the output of the acoustic sensor element to receive the output signal, a control port that receives a control signal, and first and second output ports, a first channel including an analog-to-digital converter that operates at a first power level a second analog-to-digital converter that operates at a second higher power level, relative to the first power level and a threshold level detector that receives an output from the first analog-to-digital converter to produce the control signal having a first state that causes the switch feed the output signal from the acoustic sensor element to the second analog-to-digital converter when the first digitized output signal meets a threshold criteria.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 27, 2023
    Publication date: September 28, 2023
    Inventor: Robert J. LITTRELL
  • Patent number: 11726105
    Abstract: A sensor device that senses proper acceleration. The sensor device includes a substrate, a spacer layer supported over a first surface of the substrate, at least a first tapered cantilever beam element having a base and a tip, the base attached to the spacer layer, and which is supported over and spaced from the substrate by the spacer layer. The at least first tapered cantilever beam element tapers in width from the base portion to the tip portion. The at least first cantilever beam element further including at least a first layer comprised of a piezoelectric material, a pair of electrically conductive layers disposed on opposing surfaces of the first layer, and a mass supported at the tip portion of the at least first tapered cantilever beam element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 12, 2020
    Date of Patent: August 15, 2023
    Assignee: QUALCOMM Incorporated
    Inventor: Robert J. Littrell
  • Patent number: 11716906
    Abstract: A transducer includes a first piezoelectric layer; and a second piezoelectric layer that is above the first piezoelectric layer; wherein the second piezoelectric layer is a more compressive layer with an average stress that is less than or more compressive than an average stress of the first piezoelectric layer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 3, 2022
    Date of Patent: August 1, 2023
    Assignee: QUALCOMM TECHNOLOGIES, INC
    Inventor: Robert J. Littrell
  • Patent number: 11665968
    Abstract: A microphone including a casing having a front wall, a back wall, and a side wall joining the front wall to the back wall, a transducer mounted to the front wall, the transducer including a substrate and a transducing element, the transducing element having a transducer acoustic compliance dependent on the transducing element dimensions, a back cavity cooperatively defined between the back wall, the side wall, and the transducer, the back cavity having a back cavity acoustic compliance. The transducing element is dimensioned such that the transducing element length matches a predetermined resonant frequency and the transducing element width, thickness, and elasticity produces a transducer acoustic compliance within a given range of the back cavity acoustic compliance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 19, 2021
    Date of Patent: May 30, 2023
    Assignee: The Regents of the University of Michigan
    Inventors: Karl Grosh, Robert J. Littrell
  • Patent number: 11617048
    Abstract: An acoustic device is described and includes an acoustic sensor element configured to sense acoustic energy and produce an output signal and a threshold detector circuit including a switch having an input coupled to the output of the acoustic sensor element to receive the output signal, a control port that receives a control signal, and first and second output ports, a first channel including an analog-to-digital converter that operates at a first power level a second analog-to-digital converter that operates at a second higher power level, relative to the first power level and a threshold level detector that receives an output from the first analog-to-digital converter to produce the control signal having a first state that causes the switch feed the output signal from the acoustic sensor element to the second analog-to-digital converter when the first digitized output signal meets a threshold criteria.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 16, 2020
    Date of Patent: March 28, 2023
    Assignee: QUALCOMM Incorporated
    Inventor: Robert J. Littrell
  • Patent number: 11617041
    Abstract: A device comprising: a sensor; and a first circuit configured to detect when an input stimulus to the sensor satisfies one or more detection criteria, and further configured to produce a signal upon detection that causes adjustment of performance of the device; and a second circuit for processing input following detection, wherein the second circuit is configured to increase its power level following detection, relative to a power level of the second circuit prior to detection.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 13, 2020
    Date of Patent: March 28, 2023
    Assignee: QUALCOMM Incorporated
    Inventors: Robert J. Littrell, Ronald Gagnon, Karl Grosh
  • Publication number: 20220394384
    Abstract: A device that includes an adaptive acoustic detection circuit and an acoustic sensor device such as a microphone is described. The device includes in addition to the sensor a circuit configured to detect when an input stimulus to the sensor satisfies an adaptive threshold, and further configured to produce a signal upon detection that causes adjustment of performance of the device, wherein the adaptive threshold is a threshold value that varies over time in accordance with detected changes to sound of an environment in which the device is located.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 15, 2022
    Publication date: December 8, 2022
    Inventors: Robert J. Littrell, Michael Carfore, Shuwan Xue
  • Publication number: 20220344571
    Abstract: A sensor device that senses proper acceleration. The sensor device includes a substrate, a spacer layer supported over a first surface of the substrate, at least a first cantilever beam element having a base and a tip, the base attached to the spacer layer, and which is supported over and spaced from the substrate by the spacer layer. The at least first cantilever beam element further including at least a first layer comprised of a piezoelectric material, a pair of electrically conductive layers disposed on opposing surfaces of the first layer, and a mass supported at the tip portion of the at least first cantilever beam element.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 20, 2022
    Publication date: October 27, 2022
    Inventor: Robert J. Littrell
  • Publication number: 20220317148
    Abstract: A sensor device that senses proper acceleration. The sensor device includes a substrate, a spacer layer supported over a first surface of the substrate, at least a first tapered cantilever beam element having a base and a tip, the base attached to the spacer layer, and which is supported over and spaced from the substrate by the spacer layer. The at least first tapered cantilever beam element tapers in width from the base portion to the tip portion. The at least first cantilever beam element further including at least a first layer comprised of a piezoelectric material, a pair of electrically conductive layers disposed on opposing surfaces of the first layer, and a mass supported at the tip portion of the at least first tapered cantilever beam element.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 16, 2022
    Publication date: October 6, 2022
    Inventor: Robert J. Littrell
  • Publication number: 20220308084
    Abstract: A sensor device that senses proper acceleration. The sensor device includes a substrate, a spacer layer supported over a first surface of the substrate, at least a first tapered cantilever beam element having a base and a tip, the base attached to the spacer layer, and which is supported over and spaced from the substrate by the spacer layer. The at least first tapered cantilever beam element tapers in width from the base portion to the tip portion. The at least first cantilever beam element further including at least a first layer comprised of a piezoelectric material, a pair of electrically conductive layers disposed on opposing surfaces of the first layer, and a mass supported at the tip portion of the at least first tapered cantilever beam element.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 16, 2022
    Publication date: September 29, 2022
    Inventor: Robert J. Littrell
  • Patent number: 11418882
    Abstract: A device that includes an adaptive acoustic detection circuit and an acoustic sensor device such as a microphone is described. The device includes in addition to the sensor a circuit configured to detect when an input stimulus to the sensor satisfies an adaptive threshold, and further configured to produce a signal upon detection that causes adjustment of performance of the device, wherein the adaptive threshold is a threshold value that varies over time in accordance with detected changes to sound of an environment in which the device is located.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 16, 2020
    Date of Patent: August 16, 2022
    Assignee: Vesper Technologies Inc.
    Inventors: Robert J. Littrell, Michael Carfore, Shuwan Xue
  • Publication number: 20220248145
    Abstract: A transducer of the preferred embodiment including a transducer and a plurality of adjacent, tapered cantilevered beams. Each of the beams define a beam base, a beam tip, and a beam body disposed between the beam base and the beam tip. The beams are arranged such that each of the beam tips extends toward a common area. Each beam is joined to the substrate along the beam base and is free from the substrate along the beam body. A preferred method of manufacturing a transducer can include: depositing alternating layers of piezoelectric and electrode onto the substrate in block, processing the deposited layers to define cantilever geometry in block, depositing metal traces in block, and releasing the cantilevered beams from the substrate in block.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 18, 2022
    Publication date: August 4, 2022
    Inventors: Karl Grosh, Robert J. Littrell
  • Publication number: 20220199893
    Abstract: A transducer includes a first piezoelectric layer; and a second piezoelectric layer that is above the first piezoelectric layer; wherein the second piezoelectric layer is a more compressive layer with an average stress that is less than or more compressive than an average stress of the first piezoelectric layer.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 3, 2022
    Publication date: June 23, 2022
    Inventor: Robert J. Littrell