Patents by Inventor Yuzo Higuchi

Yuzo Higuchi 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).

  • Publication number: 20220155272
    Abstract: A sensor system includes a sensor element to which a control current is inputted, a DA converter to output the control current, and a control part configured to generate a control current instruction value and input the control current instruction value to the DAC, and further includes an instruction value generation part to sequentially generate an inspection current instruction value to be inputted to the DAC instead of the control current instruction value, an inspection current detection part to detect an inspection current value of an inspection current, an expected value calculation part to calculate an inspection current expected value, a difference value acquisition part to acquire a difference value between the inspection current value and the inspection current expected value, and a failure detection part to detect a failure of a bit in the DA converter, by frequency analysis of a temporal change of the difference value.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 15, 2021
    Publication date: May 19, 2022
    Applicants: HONDA MOTOR CO., LTD., NGK Spark Plug Co., LTD.
    Inventors: Akitsugu IKEDA, Michinori TANI, Yuzo HIGUCHI, Satoru ABE
  • Publication number: 20210396702
    Abstract: A gas sensor control device having a DA conversion circuit configured to supply a pump current having a magnitude corresponding to an inputted digital signal to the pump cell, a reference electric potential generating circuit configured to keep an electric potential of the first pump electrode at a reference electric potential, a diagnostic resistance connected to the pump cell parallel to the pump cell, and an output part configured to output a signal relating to voltage applied to the diagnostic resistance when inputting an arbitrary digital signal to the DA conversion circuit in a situation in which oxygen ion conductivity does not occur in the pump cell to an external device.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 9, 2020
    Publication date: December 23, 2021
    Applicant: NGK SPARK PLUG CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Yuzo HIGUCHI, Koji ISHIBASHI, Junichiro MITSUNO, Satoru ABE, Yuji Ol
  • Patent number: 10928357
    Abstract: A sensor control apparatus includes a current control section, a first condition judgment section, a second condition judgment section, a deterioration detection energization section, and a deterioration voltage detection section. The current control section controls pump current such that electromotive force cell voltage becomes equal to a control target voltage. The first condition judgment section judges whether or not a first deterioration detection condition is satisfied. The second condition judgment section judges whether or not a second deterioration detection condition is satisfied when the first deterioration detection condition is satisfied. The deterioration detection energization section supplies deterioration detection current to the oxygen concentration detection cell when the second deterioration detection condition is satisfied.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 20, 2018
    Date of Patent: February 23, 2021
    Assignee: NGK Spark Plug Co., LTD.
    Inventor: Yuzo Higuchi
  • Patent number: 10746689
    Abstract: A sensor element drive circuit is a circuit including a plurality of semiconductor elements formed on a semiconductor substrate for realizing a current control function and a switching function. The current control function is a function of controlling the current flowing between electrodes such that the potential difference between electrodes becomes constant. The switching function is a function for switching between a connected state in which the electrodes are electrically connected to a sensor control apparatus and a cut-off state in which electrical continuity therebetween is broken. When one of an Ip+ terminal, a COM terminal, and a Vs+ terminal is determined to have an anomalous potential, the sensor control apparatus causes the sensor element drive circuit to perform switching from the connected state to the cut-off state, and connects the semiconductor substrate to a negative voltage lower than a ground potential applied to the sensor element drive circuit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 19, 2018
    Date of Patent: August 18, 2020
    Assignee: NGK Spark Plug Co., LTD.
    Inventors: Yuzo Higuchi, Satoru Abe, Koji Ishibashi
  • Patent number: 10671103
    Abstract: A voltage supply apparatus for supplying a voltage to a detection circuit, including a power supply filter (4) and a control section (5) which supply a sensor drive voltage Vbg to a sensor device (2) having a ratiometric characteristic. The power supply filter (4) has supply paths PL1 and PL2. The control section (5) determines whether or not a switching determination time has elapsed after startup. In the case where the switching determination time has not yet elapsed, the power supply filter (4) supplies the sensor drive voltage Vbg through supply path PL1. In the case where the switching determination time has elapsed, the power supply filter (4) supplies the sensor drive voltage Vbg through supply path PL2. The response of the sensor drive voltage Vbg to a variation in power supply voltage Vcc is slower when supplied through the supply path PL2 than through the supply path PL1.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 7, 2018
    Date of Patent: June 2, 2020
    Assignee: NGK SPARK PLUG CO., LTD.
    Inventor: Yuzo Higuchi
  • Patent number: 10557841
    Abstract: A sensor control apparatus controls a gas sensor which measures the concentration of oxygen contained in exhaust gas. A current DA converter of the sensor control apparatus supplies a current having a current value designated by a control section (hereinafter referred to as the designated current value) to a label resistor having a resistance previously set so as to represent the characteristic of the gas sensor (hereinafter referred to as the characteristic resistance). Further, the control section of the sensor control apparatus sets the designated current value to a plurality of values in accordance with the characteristic resistance of the label resistor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 7, 2016
    Date of Patent: February 11, 2020
    Assignee: NGK Spark Plug Co., LTD.
    Inventor: Yuzo Higuchi
  • Patent number: 10451586
    Abstract: A gas sensor system (1) including a gas sensor (2) and a sensor control section (40) including detection circuits (41), (42) and (43) for detecting the terminal potentials V1, V2, and V3 of first to third terminal T1 through T3. The sensor control section (40) includes a circuit (44) for applying an examination potential Vex to the second terminal T2, a first circuit (45) which has a predetermined resistance R1c and disconnectably connects the first terminal T1 and the second terminal T2, a second circuit (46) which has a predetermined resistance R2c and disconnectably connects the second terminal T2 and the third terminal T3, and terminal potential detection means S5 for detecting the terminal potentials V1, V2, and V3 using the detection circuits in a state in which the examination potential Vex is applied to the second terminal T2 and switches SW1 and SW2 are turned on.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 2015
    Date of Patent: October 22, 2019
    Assignee: NGK SPARK PLUG CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Yuzo Higuchi, Tomonori Uemura
  • Patent number: 10261060
    Abstract: A sensor control apparatus controls a gas sensor including an electromotive force cell (a detection cell) and an oxygen pump cell. The sensor control apparatus includes an AD conversion section (31); a PID computation section (61); a first signal generation section (63) which generates a DAC control signal S1 (a pump current control signal) based on the results of PID performed by the PID computation section (61); a current DA conversion section (35); and a first signal generation section (63), a second signal generation section (65), and a signal output section (67) configured to selectively set a combination of the results of the computations performed by the PID computation section (61) and to generate a gas detection signal S2 based on the set combination of the computation results.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 31, 2016
    Date of Patent: April 16, 2019
    Assignee: NGK SPARK PLUG CO., LTD.
    Inventor: Yuzo Higuchi
  • Publication number: 20190094177
    Abstract: A sensor control apparatus includes a current control section, a first condition judgment section, a second condition judgment section, a deterioration detection energization section, and a deterioration voltage detection section. The current control section controls pump current such that electromotive force cell voltage becomes equal to a control target voltage. The first condition judgment section judges whether or not a first deterioration detection condition is satisfied. The second condition judgment section judges whether or not a second deterioration detection condition is satisfied when the first deterioration detection condition is satisfied. The deterioration detection energization section supplies deterioration detection current to the oxygen concentration detection cell when the second deterioration detection condition is satisfied.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 20, 2018
    Publication date: March 28, 2019
    Applicant: NGK Spark Plug Co., LTD.
    Inventor: Yuzo HIGUCHI
  • Patent number: 10139359
    Abstract: In a sensor control apparatus of a gas detection system, a multiplexer having received an instruction from a digital computation section outputs analog signals in the order of, for example, “signal 1, signal 2, signal 1, signal 3, signal 1, signal 4.” By outputting the analog signals while classifying each of them as a high occurrence-frequency signal which is high in output frequency or a low occurrence-frequency signal which is low in output frequency, the multiplexer can increase the sampling frequency of signal (analog signal of Vs+-COM voltage) which is the high occurrence-frequency signal. The sensor control apparatus can increase the sampling frequency in AD conversion of signal to a digital value, while suppressing an increase in the cost of an AD conversion section.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 10, 2015
    Date of Patent: November 27, 2018
    Assignee: NGK SPARK PLUG CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Yuzo Higuchi, Tomonori Uemura
  • Publication number: 20180306745
    Abstract: A sensor element drive circuit is a circuit including a plurality of semiconductor elements formed on a semiconductor substrate for realizing a current control function and a switching function. The current control function is a function of controlling the current flowing between electrodes such that the potential difference between electrodes becomes constant. The switching function is a function for switching between a connected state in which the electrodes are electrically connected to a sensor control apparatus and a cut-off state in which electrical continuity therebetween is broken. When one of an Ip+ terminal, a COM terminal, and a Vs+ terminal is determined to have an anomalous potential, the sensor control apparatus causes the sensor element drive circuit to perform switching from the connected state to the cut-off state, and connects the semiconductor substrate to a negative voltage lower than a ground potential applied to the sensor element drive circuit.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 19, 2018
    Publication date: October 25, 2018
    Applicant: NGK Spark Plug Co., LTD.
    Inventors: Yuzo HIGUCHI, Satoru ABE, Koji ISHIBASHI
  • Publication number: 20180275701
    Abstract: A voltage supply apparatus for supplying a voltage to a detection circuit, including a power supply filter (4) and a control section (5) which supply a sensor drive voltage Vbg to a sensor device (2) having a ratiometric characteristic. The power supply filter (4) has supply paths PL1 and PL2. The control section (5) determines whether or not a switching determination time has elapsed after startup. In the case where the switching determination time has not yet elapsed, the power supply filter (4) supplies the sensor drive voltage Vbg through supply path PL1. In the case where the switching determination time has elapsed, the power supply filter (4) supplies the sensor drive voltage Vbg through supply path PL2. The response of the sensor drive voltage Vbg to a variation in power supply voltage Vcc is slower when supplied through the supply path PL2 than through the supply path PL1.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 7, 2018
    Publication date: September 27, 2018
    Applicant: NGK SPARK PLUG CO., LTD.
    Inventor: Yuzo HIGUCHI
  • Patent number: 9933389
    Abstract: A sensor control apparatus of a gas detection system includes a digital computation section having a PID computation section, a first filter section, and a second filter section as functional sections. The first filter section digitally extracts a DAC control signal (first filter signal) from a digital signal representing a supply control current Tip computed by the PID computation section. The DAC control signal is a digital signal which represents the supply control current Tip for pump current and in which noise components superimposed as a result of digital computation in the PID computation section have been attenuated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 10, 2015
    Date of Patent: April 3, 2018
    Assignee: NGK SPARK PLUG CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Yuzo Higuchi, Tomonori Uemura
  • Patent number: 9921180
    Abstract: A gas sensor system (1) includes a gas sensor (2) having a cell (14) electrically communicating with a first terminal T1 and a second terminal T2, and a cell (24) electrically communicating with T2 and a third terminal T3; and a sensor control section (40) including detection circuits (41, 43) for detecting the terminal potentials V1, V3. The sensor control section includes circuit (44) for bringing T2 to an examination potential Vex; constant current circuits (47, 48) for supplying examination currents Ipoc, Icp; terminal potential detection means S5 for detecting V1, V3 before the gas sensor detects the gas concentration in an activated state, and in a state in which T2 is brought to examination potential Vex and Ipoc, Icp are supplied to the cells (14, 24); and wire breakage determination means S6, S10 for determining a wire breakage anomaly and its location based on the V1, V3.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 20, 2018
    Assignee: NGK SPARK PLUG CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Yuzo Higuchi, Tomonori Uemura
  • Patent number: 9810731
    Abstract: When a voltage applied to a heater assumes a low-level potential, a control section of a load drive apparatus instantaneously supplies an anomaly judgment current to the heater, and computes the electrical resistance of the heater on the basis of the anomaly judgment current. The control section judges whether or not any of anomalous states of the heater, including at least a deteriorated state of the heater and wiring anomalous states of the heater, has occurred on the basis of the electrical resistance of the heater.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 2, 2015
    Date of Patent: November 7, 2017
    Assignee: NGK SPARK PLUG CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Yuzo Higuchi, Tomonori Uemura
  • Patent number: 9599600
    Abstract: A sensor control apparatus controls a gas sensor by means of digital control and restrains a decrease in accuracy of pump current control. A gas detection system includes such a sensor control apparatus. The sensor control apparatus includes a reference voltage generation section, and can change the maximum current range of pump current Ip in the current DA conversion section. The sensor control apparatus can set the maximum current range of the pump current Ip to a proper range in accordance with the type or characteristic of a gas sensor to be controlled. Namely, in the case where a gas sensor has a small sensor maximum current, the maximum current range of the current DA conversion section is changed to a range determined in consideration of the sensor maximum current of the gas sensor, which restrains a decrease in the accuracy in controlling the pump current Ip.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 9, 2014
    Date of Patent: March 21, 2017
    Assignee: NGK SPARK PLUG CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Yuzo Higuchi, Tomonori Uemura
  • Patent number: 9541523
    Abstract: A sensor control apparatus (2) of a gas detection system (1) includes a first low-pass filter (46), a second low-pass filter (48), and a multiplexer (50) so as to provide different time constants for detection of a sensor output signal Vs1 and for detection of a response signal Vs2. When the sensor output signal Vs1 is detected, a signal whose frequency band is the same as that of Vs1 is input to the analog-to-digital conversion section (31) through the first low-pass filter (46). Therefore, the detection accuracy of Vs1 is increased. When Vs2 is detected, a signal whose frequency band is the same as that of Vs2 is input to the analog-to-digital conversion section (31) through the second low-pass filter (48).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 25, 2014
    Date of Patent: January 10, 2017
    Assignee: NGK SPARK PLUG CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Yuzo Higuchi, Tomonori Uemura
  • Publication number: 20160356753
    Abstract: A sensor control apparatus controls a gas sensor including an electromotive force cell (a detection cell) and an oxygen pump cell. The sensor control apparatus includes an AD conversion section (31); a PID computation section (61); a first signal generation section (63) which generates a DAC control signal S1 (a pump current control signal) based on the results of PID performed by the PID computation section (61); a current DA conversion section (35); and a first signal generation section (63), a second signal generation section (65), and a signal output section (67) configured to selectively set a combination of the results of the computations performed by the PID computation section (61) and to generate a gas detection signal S2 based on the set combination of the computation results.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 31, 2016
    Publication date: December 8, 2016
    Applicant: NGK SPARK PLUG CO., LTD.
    Inventor: Yuzo HIGUCHI
  • Patent number: 9448136
    Abstract: A sensor control apparatus which receives from a gas sensor (10) a sensor output signal Ip corresponding to the concentration of a specific gas component, and a pressure signal P output from a pressure sensor (20). The sensor control apparatus includes a computation section (38) which computes a specific component concentration which is corrected based on the pressure signal P so as to eliminate the influence of the pressure of the gas. The sensor control apparatus includes response adjustment sections (34) and (36) for adjusting the response rates of the sensor output signal Ip and the pressure signal P before being input to the computation section (38), the response rate exhibiting a time variation of the corresponding signal to a change in the pressure of the gas, such that the response rate of the sensor output signal Ip or the response rate of the pressure signal P, whichever is faster, approaches the slower of the two.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 25, 2014
    Date of Patent: September 20, 2016
    Assignee: NGK SPARK PLUG CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Yuzo Higuchi, Hiroshi Inagaki
  • Publication number: 20160209385
    Abstract: A sensor control apparatus controls a gas sensor which measures the concentration of oxygen contained in exhaust gas. A current DA converter of the sensor control apparatus supplies a current having a current value designated by a control section (hereinafter referred to as the designated current value) to a label resistor having a resistance previously set so as to represent the characteristic of the gas sensor (hereinafter referred to as the characteristic resistance). Further, the control section of the sensor control apparatus sets the designated current value to a plurality of values in accordance with the characteristic resistance of the label resistor.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 7, 2016
    Publication date: July 21, 2016
    Applicant: NGK Spark Plug Co., LTD.
    Inventor: Yuzo HIGUCHI