Including R/c Time Constant Circuit Patents (Class 324/711)
  • Patent number: 9651981
    Abstract: Some aspects of the present disclosure relate to an apparatus that includes an integrated chip having a bandgap reference circuit and one or more heating elements. The bandgap reference circuit is located within a subset of the integrated chip and outputs a reference voltage having a temperature dependence. The one or more of the heating elements vary the temperature of the subset of the integrated chip.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 9, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 16, 2017
    Assignee: Infineon Technologies Austria AG
    Inventors: Christian Lindholm, Henrik Hassander
  • Patent number: 9166586
    Abstract: A system for detecting unauthorized removal or tampering. The system comprises a printed circuit board having tamper-response electronics and a flexible circuit assembly defining a connector portion, a switch portion, and a cable extending between the connector portion and the switch portion. The flexible circuit assembly is coupled with the printed circuit board at the connector portion. The flexible circuit assembly comprises a plurality of layers each comprising a flexible dielectric substrate and a switch disposed in the switch portion. The switch is in electrical communication with the tamper-response electronics of the printed circuit board via a conductive path. The flexible circuit assembly also comprises a tamper-responsive conductor circuit enclosing the conductive path. The tamper-responsive conductor circuit is in electrical communication with the tamper-response electronics of the printed circuit board.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 9, 2012
    Date of Patent: October 20, 2015
    Assignees: Gilbarco Inc., Gilbarco, S.r.l.
    Inventors: Giovanni Carapelli, Philip A. Robertson, Alberto Tosi
  • Patent number: 9041407
    Abstract: Disclosed herein is an oscillation circuit including: a control transistor changing an electric potential at an output terminal thereof by proceeding to one of a conduction state and a non-conduction state in accordance with an electric potential at an input terminal thereof; a transistor as an object of a measurement having a polarity of a channel identical to that of the control transistor, and connected in series with the control transistor between a power source and a ground; a capacitor delaying the change in the electric potential at the output terminal in accordance with a value of a leakage current leaked from the transistor as an object of a measurement when the control transistor proceeds from the conduction state to the non-conduction state; and an inversion circuit inverting the electric potential at the output terminal, thereby feeding the inverted electric potential back to the input terminal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 16, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 26, 2015
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventors: Haruhiko Terada, Kohei Homma
  • Patent number: 9018964
    Abstract: A powder sensor includes a piezoelectric element, an oscillator circuit, a first square wave signal generator, a second square wave signal generator, and a phase judgment circuit. The oscillator circuit applies to the piezoelectric element an output signal having a frequency equal to or near a resonance frequency of the piezoelectric element. The first square wave signal generator generates a first square wave signal by converting a terminal voltage of the piezoelectric element. The second square wave signal generator generates a second square wave signal that transits from an initial level to a detection level when the first square wave signal rises or falls in a detection period and that does not transit outside of the detection period. The detection period is a part of each cycle of the output signal of the oscillator circuit. The phase judgment circuit determines phase of the second square wave signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 11, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 28, 2015
    Assignee: TDK Corporation
    Inventor: Nobuo Furukawa
  • Patent number: 8917102
    Abstract: A method for measuring a capacitance using a capacitance meter. The capacitance meter includes an AC power source with a controllable frequency which is fed to a capacitor to measure its capacitance. A first measurement of the capacitance is performed by the capacitance meter using a first frequency. When the first measurement of the capacitance indicates the capacitance is below a threshold capacitance a lower capacitance measurement is performed in the capacitance meter, using a second measurement of the capacitance using a second frequency. When the first measurement of the capacitance indicates the capacitance is above a threshold capacitance, a higher capacitance measurement is performed in the capacitance meter, using a second measurement of the capacitance using a third frequency, the third frequency being lower than the second frequency.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 17, 2010
    Date of Patent: December 23, 2014
    Assignee: ABB Technology AG
    Inventors: Alf Brodin, Jon Lissmats, Jerry Svedlund, Hans Olof Fröjd
  • Patent number: 8823390
    Abstract: A method for monitoring operation of a solenoid valve having an armature and a poppet coupled to the armature includes the steps of energizing a coil in the valve to generate a current signature reflecting current vs. time, detecting a first inflection point in the current signature, wherein the first inflection point occurs when the armature starts to move from one of the open and closed positions toward the other of the open and closed positions, and detecting a second inflection point in the current signature. The second inflection point occurs when the armature moves completely to the other of the open and closed positions. In one embodiment, the first inflection point indicates when the valve begins to open, making it possible to accurately determine the elapsed opening time of the valve.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 15, 2011
    Date of Patent: September 2, 2014
    Assignee: Eaton Corporation
    Inventors: Robert Dean Keller, Steven Lee Ambrose, Eric Otis Barrows
  • Patent number: 8643391
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for determining an RC (resistive-capacitive) time constant is disclosed. In one embodiment, a method comprises determining a first period of oscillation when an oscillator is operating in a first configuration. The method further comprises determining a second period of oscillation when the oscillator is operating in a second configuration. A measurement circuit is configured to determine a resistive-capacitive (RC) time constant of the oscillator by determining a mean of the first and second periods.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 2011
    Date of Patent: February 4, 2014
    Assignee: Silicon Laboratories Inc.
    Inventors: William W. K. Tang, Michael J. Mills, Péter Onódy, Gerald D. Champagne
  • Patent number: 8577316
    Abstract: Mechanically tuned radios and related methods are disclosed that utilize ratiometric time measurements to detect settings for mechanical adjustment mechanisms. The radio systems and methods disclosed make a first time measurement associated with a mechanically adjusted circuit, make a second time measurement associated with the mechanically adjusted circuit, determine a setting for the mechanical adjustment mechanism based upon a ratio associated with the first and second time measurements, and utilize the setting to select a tuning frequency for signals received by the radio. More generally, ratiometric time measurements can be used to determine a setting for a mechanical adjustment mechanism for a mechanically adjusted circuit, and this setting can be used to at least part control a desired operational feature of a device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 2009
    Date of Patent: November 5, 2013
    Assignee: Silicon Laboratories Inc.
    Inventors: Matthew B. Henson, Greg Allan Hodgson
  • Publication number: 20130249575
    Abstract: A device for measuring the value of a resistor has a first RC element with a first time constant and a second RC element with a second time constant. The first RC element has a first capacitor and a resistor. The second RC element has a second capacitor and the resistor to be measured. An evaluation circuit charges the first and second capacitors to a first and a second voltage, respectively, and initiates their discharge. The evaluation circuit measures the time that elapses from the start of the discharge to the instant at which the voltages across the capacitors are equal, and determines the value of the resistor from the values. In the event that the first time constant is larger than the second time constant, the first voltage is smaller than the second voltage, and vice versa.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 22, 2013
    Publication date: September 26, 2013
    Applicant: CONTINENTAL AUTOMOTIVE GMBH
    Inventor: VOLKER HERTES
  • Patent number: 8432174
    Abstract: An interrogation circuit for a nanowire sensor array and a method for interrogating a nanowire sensor array are provided. The circuit comprises a switch array connected to the nanowire sensor array for selectively connecting first ends of nanowire sensors of the nanowire sensor array to a reference voltage; an integration amplifier (IA) connected to second ends of the nanowire sensors at a first input of the IA and to the reference voltage at a second input of the IA, for generating an oscillating output signal clamped between first and second voltage values; wherein the switch array is further arranged for switching one of the nanowire sensors to be connected in a closed loop with the IA such that a current through said one nanowire sensor periodically charges and discharges an integration capacitor of the IA for determining a resistance of said one nanowire sensor from a frequency of the periodic charging and discharging.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 15, 2007
    Date of Patent: April 30, 2013
    Assignee: Agency for Science, Technology and Research
    Inventors: Hai Qi Liu, Tee Hui Teo
  • Patent number: 7969100
    Abstract: A bulb detection circuit is associated with a dimmer circuit for a lighting system. The bulb detection circuit is operable to detect whether an incandescent or a fluorescent bulb is received in an electric light socket. The socket may be hardwired to the circuit, or could be plugged into an electrical outlet. The bulb detection circuit may utilize a separately inventive method of measuring the resistance by looking at an RC circuit time constant. Further, the bulb detection circuit may utilize a separately inventive method of identifying a short circuit by again looking at the RC circuit time constant.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 17, 2007
    Date of Patent: June 28, 2011
    Assignee: Liberty Hardware Manufacturing Corp.
    Inventors: Jian Xu, Jeffrey Iott, Thomas Alan Barnett
  • Patent number: 7791357
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a on-chip circuit for on silicon interconnect capacitance (Cx) extraction that is self compensated for process variations in the integrated transistors. The circuit (10) comprises signal generation means (20) for generating a periodical pulse signal connected to first and to second signal delaying means (31, 32) for respective delaying said pulse signal, wherein said second signal delaying means (32) are configured to have a delay affected by said interconnect capacitance (Cx); a logical XOR gate (35) for connecting respective first and said second delay signals of said respective first and second delay means (31, 32), said logical XOR gate (35) being connected to signal integrating means (40); and said signal integrating means (40) being connected to analog to digital converting means (50).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 2005
    Date of Patent: September 7, 2010
    Assignee: NXP B.V.
    Inventors: Praveen Pavithran, Marcel Pelgrom, Jean Wieling, Hendricus Joseph Veendrick
  • Publication number: 20090279345
    Abstract: A system for determining the logic state of a resistive memory cell element, for example an MRAM resistive cell element. The system includes a controlled voltage supply, an electronic charge reservoir, a current source, and a pulse counter. The controlled voltage supply is connected to the resistive memory cell element to maintain a constant voltage across the resistive element. The charge reservoir is connected to the voltage supply to provide a current through the resistive element. The current source is connected to the charge reservoir to repeatedly supply a pulse of current to recharge the reservoir upon depletion of electronic charge from the reservoir, and the pulse counter provides a count of the number of pulses supplied by the current source over a predetermined time. The count represents a logic state of the memory cell element.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 17, 2009
    Publication date: November 12, 2009
    Inventor: R. Jacob Baker
  • Patent number: 7602195
    Abstract: In a circuit identifier, an electrical circuit includes an output node to output an electrical signal. A resistor device and a capacitor device, electrically in series with the resistor device, receive at least a portion of the electrical signal. A counter device determines a time for the capacitor device to reach a predetermined charge and assigns a value to the time for the capacitor device to reach the predetermined charge. A processor or other system reads the value assigned by the counter device and identifies the capacitor from a predetermined list of capacitors. The identification of the capacitor identifies a revision of the circuit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 1, 2007
    Date of Patent: October 13, 2009
    Assignee: Dell Products L.P.
    Inventor: Nikolai Vyssotski
  • Patent number: 7576549
    Abstract: Systems and methods of measuring resistances of samples to be electroporated and utilizing the measured resistances in the electroporation are provided. During an electrical pulse sent to the sample, a time and a corresponding voltage drop on a known capacitance is measured to determine the sample resistance. A constant voltage may be assumed, and the voltage drop across a known resistance in series with the sample resistance is used to determine the sample resistance. Based on the value of the sample resistance, an electrical pulse may be altered by changing a value of a parallel resistance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 6, 2006
    Date of Patent: August 18, 2009
    Assignee: Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc.
    Inventor: Charles W. Ragsdale
  • Patent number: 7577044
    Abstract: A system for determining the logic state of a resistive memory cell element, for example an MRAM resistive cell element. The system includes a controlled voltage supply, an electronic charge reservoir, a current source, and a pulse counter. The controlled voltage supply is connected to the resistive memory cell element to maintain a constant voltage across the resistive element. The charge reservoir is connected to the voltage supply to provide a current through the resistive element. The current source is connected to the charge reservoir to repeatedly supply a pulse of current to recharge the reservoir upon depletion of electronic charge from the reservoir, and the pulse counter provides a count of the number of pulses supplied by the current source over a predetermined time. The count represents a logic state of the memory cell element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 17, 2008
    Date of Patent: August 18, 2009
    Assignee: Micron Technology, Inc.
    Inventor: R. Jacob Baker
  • Patent number: 7372717
    Abstract: A system for determining the logic state of a resistive memory cell element, for example an MRAM resistive cell element. The system includes a controlled voltage supply, an electronic charge reservoir, a current source, and a pulse counter. The controlled voltage supply is connected to the resistive memory cell element to maintain a constant voltage across the resistive element. The charge reservoir is connected to the voltage supply to provide a current through the resistive element. The current source is connected to the charge reservoir to repeatedly supply a pulse of current to recharge the reservoir upon depletion of electronic charge from the reservoir, and the pulse counter provides a count of the number of pulses supplied by the current source over a predetermined time. The count represents a logic state of the memory cell element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 27, 2005
    Date of Patent: May 13, 2008
    Assignee: Micron Technology, Inc.
    Inventor: R. Jacob Baker
  • Patent number: 7113102
    Abstract: A system having a screen, in particular a flat screen, and having an external power supply unit that can be connected by a plug connector to the screen in order to supply the screen with a DC voltage. The system provides a signaling device at the power supply unit end and a comparator at the screen end for comparison of the operating parameters of the power supply unit with nominal operating parameters. A fault signaling device is provided for indicating unacceptable discrepancies between the signaled operating parameters and the stored operating parameters.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 17, 2003
    Date of Patent: September 26, 2006
    Assignee: Fujitsu Siemens Computers GmbH
    Inventor: Albertus Soemantri
  • Patent number: 7071711
    Abstract: A method and device for determining the ratio between the actual value of an RC time constant of an RC network embodied in an integrated circuit and a set value of the RC time constant includes first and second reference RC networks each having a resistor and a capacitor. The two RC networks may be oppositely connected in a circuit arrangement between first and second supply potentials, where the product of the resistance and capacitance values of the two RC networks may be equal. A normalized RC time constant may be defined for the two reference RC networks. Successive charge and discharge cycles are implemented during a predetermined evaluation period, the two capacitors being charged in a cycle during a charge time until the potential at a first node of the first reference RC network approximately corresponds to the potential at a second node of the second reference RC network. The two capacitors may be subsequently discharged for a discharge time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 2, 2004
    Date of Patent: July 4, 2006
    Assignee: Micronas GmbH
    Inventors: Achim Bauer, Martin Trojer, Ulrich Gaier
  • Patent number: 6842710
    Abstract: A method and system for calibrating a time constant within an integrated circuit. A voltage storage element is charged, and the time required to achieve a reference voltage on the storage element is measured. The measured time is compared to a desired time. It necessary, an adjustable impedance is modified to change the charging time, and the cycle may be repeated until the charging time matches the desired time. In this novel manner, an actual RC time constant, as rendered in a particular integrated circuit, is measured and potentially adjusted to match a desired time constant. Advantageously, configuration information of the adjustable impedance may be communicated to other circuitry within the integrated circuit to enable such circuitry to implement the same RC time constant in analog signal processing. Consequently, embodiments of the present invention overcome incidences of wide tolerance in passive components implemented in integrated circuits. Beneficially, no external test equipment is required.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 22, 2002
    Date of Patent: January 11, 2005
    Assignee: Cypress Semiconductor Corporation
    Inventors: Mark Richard Gehring, Brent R. Jensen
  • Patent number: 6819123
    Abstract: The apparatus for detecting the effects of interconnect resistance and capacitance (RC) in a logic circuit includes a first ring oscillator with the interconnect RC parasitics in a logic circuit and a minimum reference ring oscillator without the interconnect RC parasitic in a logic circuit multiplexed to have common stages to obtain delay with and without the parasitics of the interconnect RC. The frequency difference between the first ring oscillator frequency and the minimum reference ring oscillator frequency is determined to detect the effects of the interconnect RC in the logic circuit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 8, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 16, 2004
    Assignee: Texas Instruments Incorporated
    Inventors: Andrew Marshall, Victor C. Sutcliffe
  • Patent number: 6806720
    Abstract: A method of reliability testing is disclosed. A critical breakdown resistance of a device is determined. The test structure is subjected to stress conditions and electrically tested. The critical breakdown time of the test structure is recorded when the operating resistance of the test structure is equal or smaller than the critical breakdown resistance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 29, 2002
    Date of Patent: October 19, 2004
    Assignee: Infineon Technologies Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventor: Rolf-P. Vollersten
  • Patent number: 6771082
    Abstract: Systems, methods and apparatus for stabilizing resistance measurements in electroporation systems so as to achieve high-accuracy measurements, and for controlling the pulse duration, or time constant, of electroporation pulses. Circuitry is provided to accurately determine the resistance of a sample in the electroporation system, for example a sample provided in an electroporation cuvette. Additionally, a resistance control system is provided to automatically measure the resistance of a sample, determine a capacitance and determine a parallel add-on resistance that substantially provides a desired pulse duration (time constant) for an electroporation pulse.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 6, 2002
    Date of Patent: August 3, 2004
    Assignee: Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc.
    Inventors: Charles W. Ragsdale, Tony Chiu
  • Patent number: 6690183
    Abstract: In order in a method for measuring the resistance across discharge times of a capacitor to eliminate the interfering influence of the resistance values of electronic switches, the invention provides for a capacitor to be repeatedly charged and discharged and the charging or discharging time is measured by means of at least one resistor (R1, R2, R3) and at least one first switch (S11, S21 or S31) connected in series therewith, at least one second switch (S12, S22 or S32) connected in series with the resistor (R1, R2 or R3) and juxtaposed, parallel-connected switches (S11, S12 or S21, S22 or S31, S32) connected in series with the resistor (R1, R2 or R3).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 18, 2002
    Date of Patent: February 10, 2004
    Assignee: Acam-messelectronic GmbH
    Inventor: Augustin Braun
  • Publication number: 20030231026
    Abstract: A frequency response adjuster for a frequency responsive circuit, and a method for tuning a frequency response of a circuit, are disclosed. The adjuster may include a time constant sensor, wherein a charging state of the frequency responsive circuit may be measured by, and output from, the time constant sensor as a first voltage, a converter that samples the first voltage and outputs a second voltage resultant from a conversion of the first voltage by the converter, an array of trimming components, and a selector that utilizes the second voltage to select at least one trimming component from the array of trimming components. The method includes the steps of sensing a time constant of the circuit, outputting the sensing as a first voltage, sampling the first voltage over a fixed interval, converting the sampled first voltage to a second voltage, and selecting, utilizing the second voltage, at least one trimming component from an array of trimming components.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 7, 2003
    Publication date: December 18, 2003
    Inventor: Seyfollah Bazarjani
  • Patent number: 6664777
    Abstract: Photometric apparatus and photometric method measure a wide range of incident light amounts accurately and efficiently. The photometric apparatus includes an optical sensor for delivering a photocurrent; an integrator capacitor for integrating the photocurrent to provide an integrated voltage; a voltage measurer measuring the integrated voltage; an integration time measure for measuring an integration time which the integrator capacitor integrates the photocurrent; for resetting the integrator capacitor whenever the voltage across the integrator capacitor exceeds a given voltage value; a summer summing a total voltage value integrated by the integrator capacitor during the given time including at least one reset; and a photometric calculator for calculating a photometric value based on the total voltage value and on the integration time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 24, 2001
    Date of Patent: December 16, 2003
    Assignee: Seiko Precision Inc.
    Inventors: Kenji Hyakutake, Hiroyuki Saito, Kazuyuki Akiyama
  • Publication number: 20030052700
    Abstract: The apparatus for detecting the effects of interconnect resistance and capacitance (RC) in a logic circuit includes a first ring oscillator with the interconnect RC parasitics in a logic circuit and a minimum reference ring oscillator without the interconnect RC parasitic in a logic circuit multiplexed to have common stages to obtain delay with and without the parasitics of the interconnect RC. The frequency difference between the first ring oscillator frequency and the minimum reference ring oscillator frequency is determined to detect the effects of the interconnect RC in the logic circuit.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 8, 2002
    Publication date: March 20, 2003
    Inventors: Andrew Marshall, Victor C. Sutcliffe
  • Patent number: 6531883
    Abstract: A thermal head of a thermal printer is provided with an array of parallel connected heating elements and transistors connected in series to the heating elements in one to one relation. In a resistance measuring mode, one of the transistors connected to one heating element whose resistance is to measure is turned on, and other transistors are turned off. In this condition, a capacitor connected in parallel to the heating element is charged up to a predetermined voltage, and then discharged. A counter circuit starts time-counting by a short unit time t0 when a predetermined delay time T min has passed since the start of discharging, and outputs a count Q when the charged voltage goes down to a predetermined level. Based on a discharge time T=T min+t0·Q, the resistance of the heating element is calculated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 6, 2000
    Date of Patent: March 11, 2003
    Assignee: Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Junji Hayashi
  • Publication number: 20030042918
    Abstract: An electronics circuit designed for a matrix array of receivers configured to detect multiple external resistors of close values selected from the 100 ohm to 1 Mohm range, and to provide different responses according to the resistance of a resistor connected to a receiver.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 10, 2002
    Publication date: March 6, 2003
    Inventor: Peter Ar-Fu Lam
  • Patent number: 6472859
    Abstract: An electrical ground detection circuit 10 having a first capacitor 18 and a second capacitor 20 which selectively receives a certain amount of voltage. The certain amount of voltage decreases by a certain amount during a period of time, as the capacitor 18 charges. The circuit 10 further includes a controller 16 which measures this period of time and which utilizes this measured period of time to determine whether an electrical assembly 12 is coupled to an electrically grounded member 14.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 31, 2000
    Date of Patent: October 29, 2002
    Assignee: Autoliv ASP, Inc.
    Inventors: David James Tippy, James Borninski, Kenneth James Zalewski, Tom P. Moyles
  • Patent number: 6437575
    Abstract: A low-voltage detecting circuit for power sources is based upon the relation of the discharge time of a capacitor and the measured voltage value to determine whether the voltage level of the power source is too low. The voltage detecting circuit comprises a charge/discharge module and a discharge detecting module, wherein one terminal of said charge/discharge module is connected to the voltage to be measured. The discharge time of capacitor depends on the voltage to be measured. In other words, the voltage to be measured can be detected by calculating the discharge time of capacitor. Furthermore, the present invention provides a simplified circuit so as to reduce the fabrication cost.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 24, 2000
    Date of Patent: August 20, 2002
    Inventors: Hwan-Rong Lin, Huang-Hsiao Kao, Hung-Chang Hsu
  • Patent number: 6404208
    Abstract: A thermal head of a thermal printer has plural heating elements arranged along a line and connected in parallel with one another. A respective one of the heating elements is connected to one of plural heat control switches, which are selectively turned on/off for driving the heating elements individually by applying electrical energy to generate heat. To measure resistance data of at least one of the heating elements, a capacitor is connected in parallel with the plural heating elements. A reference resistor is connected in parallel with the plural heating elements and the capacitor. The capacitor is charged, and then discharged via the reference resistor or the one of the heating elements. A voltage across the capacitor is detected. An amount of discharging time required to decrease of the capacitor voltage from a predetermined high voltage to a predetermined low voltage is measured while the capacitor is discharged, in association respectively with the reference resistor and the heating elements.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 24, 2000
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2002
    Assignee: Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Nobuo Katsuma
  • Patent number: 6262580
    Abstract: A method and a testing system for measuring contact resistance of a pin on an integrated circuit. An RC circuit is coupled to the integrated circuit, and a response signal of a testing signal input to the integrated circuit is monitored. The response signal has a time dependent voltage V′. Another time dependent voltage V1 for the testing signal through the RC circuit and a voltage drop across an internal circuit of the integrated circuit is illustrated. Comparing V′ with V1, whether the contact resistance of the pin being tested is allowable can be determined according to the ratings or specification of the integrated circuit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 14, 1999
    Date of Patent: July 17, 2001
    Assignees: United Microelectronics Corp, United Silicon Incorporated
    Inventor: Tsung-Chih Wu
  • Patent number: 6208215
    Abstract: A VCO and filter each include a variable transconductance amplifier as a resistive element. The same control bias current is supplied to the variable transconductance amplifier of both the oscillator and filter. This control bias current may be externally supplied, or may be generated on-chip from a thermal RC network formed from base-emitter junctions of bipolar transistors arrayed in single crystal silicon about a heat source. Application of a clock signal from the VCO to the heat source generates a heat pulse which propagates across the arrayed transistors. The resulting change in temperature produces a change in Vbe of the arrayed transistors. The phase shift between the original clock signal and the changed Vbe is determined solely by the time constant &tgr; of the particular thermal RC network. This time constant is a function of the inherent stable thermal resistance and capacitance of the single crystal silicon, and of the location and relative spacing of the arrayed transistors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 20, 1999
    Date of Patent: March 27, 2001
    Assignee: National Semiconductor Corp.
    Inventor: Don Sauer
  • Patent number: 6198295
    Abstract: A control system detects an electrical resistance change in a connector coupling a remote mounted temperature sensor to a control system. A control system determines the resistance of the sensor or the connector by selectively charging or discharging a capacitor through a unidirectional circuit element or the sensor. The control system is disclosed as controlling a water heater system, although such control systems may be used to control other systems using remote mounted sensors. A calibrating circuit is used to measure a transient response of an RC circuit, from which resistance can be derived.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 6, 1999
    Date of Patent: March 6, 2001
    Assignee: Honeywell Inc.
    Inventor: Bruch Lyman Hill
  • Patent number: 6166538
    Abstract: An electronic autoclave cycle passively records the number of thermal cycles to which an instrument has been subjected in a steam autoclave. When a sterilization cycle has been completed, and the instrument is next energized in use, a microprocessor is employed to read the sensor and record the occurrence of a sterilization cycle. Information as to the cumulative number of cycles through which the instrument has been subjected is stored in a non-volatile memory. This data is suitably displayed on a display panel. The sensor employed uses either the Curie temperature or a temperature near but below the Curie temperature of a ferromagnetic material by first magnetizing the material and then, later, checking its flux density to determine whether a thermal cycle has occurred. In a first embodiment, a Hall effect sensor is used to directly measure the magnetic field strength of the magnetizable material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 26, 1998
    Date of Patent: December 26, 2000
    Assignee: Linvatec Corporation
    Inventor: David A. D'Alfonso
  • Patent number: 6166551
    Abstract: A process for monitoring the state of microcrystalline change of solid materials, by observing the frequency of a load-pull oscillator which is RF-coupled to the material under test (preferably by a simple single-ended RF probe). Areas where this technique is of particular interest are in monitoring the curing of shaped aerodynamic composite materials, and in monitoring the curing of concrete and cement compositions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 12, 1999
    Date of Patent: December 26, 2000
    Assignee: Phase Dynamics Inc.
    Inventors: Bentley N. Scott, Samuel R. Shortes
  • Patent number: 6151969
    Abstract: EIS and EMIS methods of assessing the fatigue status of a material. The EIS method uses an electrochemical transducer cell to apply electrical perturbations to the material, and to acquire voltage and current measurements over a range of frequencies. The impedance at each frequency is calculated, resulting in impedance spectrum data. This data is correlated to reference data representing the fatigue life of the material. The EMIS method is similar except that mechanical instead of electrical perturbations are applied to the material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 14, 1998
    Date of Patent: November 28, 2000
    Assignee: Southwest Research Institute
    Inventors: Michael A. Miller, Stephen J. Hudak, Jr.
  • Patent number: 6150812
    Abstract: Method and apparatus for detecting or analyzing chemical reactions, such as an enzyme reaction, and other events in which electron translation is accompanied by photon emission utilizing a magnetometer probe to detect a change in electromagnetic field strength as a characterization of the event. The event may be of unknown cause and a recorded time course of the change in electromagnetic field strength may be compared with known events to determine the cause of the unknown cause event.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 18, 1996
    Date of Patent: November 21, 2000
    Assignee: Fermion Inc.
    Inventors: Carl Pinsky, Frank S. LaBella
  • Patent number: 6137282
    Abstract: A user input device is disclosed adapting the electronic components of a time-domain reflectometry material level sensor to replace traditional user input devices such as push-buttons, control knobs, and variable sliders. An electrical conductor is arrayed beneath an input panel, such that when a high permittivity or high conductivity material is placed in proximity to the conductor, the characteristic impedance of the conductor is altered at that point, reflecting electronic pulses transmitted through the conductor. The reflected electronic pulse is received by the associated electronics, and the position of the material along the conductor subsequently determined. By segmenting the conductor into virtual regions, each corresponding to an individual "button", discrete input may be received by the device based upon the placement of the material within specific virtual regions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 25, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 24, 2000
    Assignee: BECS Technology, Inc.
    Inventors: David C. Macke, Sr., Theodore James Eckert, John C. Bell, Timothy L. Bell
  • Patent number: 6132593
    Abstract: An electrochemical method for measuring localized corrosion and other heterogeneous electrochemical processes is described. A multi-sensor electrode namely the wire beam electrode, integrated by coupling all its wire terminals together, is used to simulate a conventional one-piece metal electrode surface in electrochemical behavior. The working surface of the wire beam electrode is exposed to an electrolyte as a conventional one-piece electrode to allow heterogeneous electrochemical processes such as localized corrosion to occur. Electrochemical parameters at local areas of the wire beam electrode surface are detected by means of wires located at those areas. A zero resistance ammeter is inserted between each selected wire terminal and all other coupled wire terminals to measure the coupling current flowing into or out the selected wire, and thus a coupling current distribution map is produced.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 8, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 17, 2000
    Inventor: Yong-Jun Tan
  • Patent number: 6127185
    Abstract: The present invention relates to an instrument and methods for determining stability of oils and fats. The instrument includes a sample reaction vessel for containing a sample of an oil or fat, a moisturized gas source operably connected to the vessel for contacting a moisturized gas with the sample, a compound trap containing water operably connected to the vessel to contact the moisturized gas from the vessel with the water, and an automatic data acquisition and control system for monitoring the electrical conductivity of the water. The method is carried out by heating an oil or a fat, contacting the oil or fat with a moisturized gas, contacting the moisturized gas with water to form a trap solution, measuring the electrical conductivity of the trap solution, and determining the stability of the oil or fat.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 5, 1999
    Date of Patent: October 3, 2000
    Assignee: University of Tennessee Research Corporation
    Inventors: Sharon L. Melton, Hung-Wei Lin
  • Patent number: 6119949
    Abstract: A control system and method provide a multiple option select function in which an option select resistor acts as a selector. The control system determines the resistance value of the resistor and maps the resistance value to a data entry in an option select table. The index of the data entry is determined and used to reference option parameters in at least one option parameter table. The index allows the control system to select an option parameter from many possible option parameters in the option parameter table. Furthermore, additional option parameter tables may also be referenced to select multiple option parameters using a single select resistor. The control system is disclosed as controlling a water heater system, although such control systems may be used to control other systems, such as furnaces and hydronic heating and water systems. A calibrating circuit is used to measure a transient response of an RC circuit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 6, 1999
    Date of Patent: September 19, 2000
    Assignee: Honeywell Inc.
    Inventor: David Eric Lindstrom
  • Patent number: 6121848
    Abstract: A thermal RC network is fabricated in silicon as a lateral array of forward-biased PN junctions, which may take the form of the base-emitter junctions of bipolar transistors. Application of a clock signal from a voltage controlled oscillator to the silicon produces a heat pulse which propagates across the arrayed transistors of the thermal RC network. The resulting change in temperature produces a change in the V.sub.be of the arrayed transistors. The phase shift between the original clock signal and the changed V.sub.be is determined solely by the time constant .tau. of the particular thermal RC network. This time constant is a function only of the intrinsic thermal resistance and thermal capacitance of the silicon and the spacing of the laterally-arrayed transistors. The time constant is independent of the amplitude, frequency, and duty cycle of the original clock signal. The original clock signal and the time-delayed output of the RC network can be compared, and the phase shift determined.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 14, 1999
    Date of Patent: September 19, 2000
    Assignee: National Semiconductor Corporation
    Inventor: Don Sauer
  • Patent number: 6109098
    Abstract: A device is described which combines Acoustic and Electroacoustic spectrometers to characterize both particle size distribution and zeta potential for concentrated dispersed systems.The Acoustic Spectrometer measures both attenuation and sound speed for multiple frequencies using each measurement to help optimize and correct the other. The attenuation spectra is used to calculate particle size.The Electroacoustic Spectrometer measures Colloid Vibration Current (CVI), correcting the measured value using attenuation and sound speed data from the Acoustic Spectrometer. The Colloid Vibration Current is used to calculate zeta potential taking into account the particle size calculated from the acoustic measurement as well as particle interaction.Sound speed and multiple frequency CVI measurement provide additional experimental data to check the validity of the data.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 1998
    Date of Patent: August 29, 2000
    Assignee: Doukhin Dispersion Technology, Inc.
    Inventors: Andrei Dukhin, Philip Goetz
  • Patent number: 6099718
    Abstract: A sinusoidal voltage is appied to a zirconium alloy clad fuel rod. The current is measured and the impedance is determined to provide a check for the compactness and adhesion of an oxide surface layer on the fuel rod.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 13, 1998
    Date of Patent: August 8, 2000
    Assignee: Societe Franco-Belge de Fabrication de Combustible - FBFC
    Inventors: Dominique Duthoo, Fanjas Yves, Alain Frichet, Michel Ladet
  • Patent number: 6090267
    Abstract: Methods for determining the amount of volatile electrolyte present in an aqueous liquid sample comprise transferring the electrolyte from the aqueous liquid sample to an absorber solution across a gas-permeable membrane which is non-passable to the aqueous liquid sample and measuring the change in electrical conductivity of the absorber solution during the transfer period. The absorber solution contains a solute which enhances the transfer of the electrolyte. Apparatus for conducting such methods include an absorber solution containing a solute which enhances the transfer of the electrolyte.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 17, 1998
    Date of Patent: July 18, 2000
    Assignee: Timberline Instruments, Inc.
    Inventors: Brian N. Hansen, Arnold E. Williams
  • Patent number: 6087837
    Abstract: A measurement apparatus for sensing three properties of materials including a fixed impedance element coupled in series with the sensor array between an input signal and a reference potential (e.g. ground). The sensor array of the apparatus is an electrode configuration which includes a first elongated electrode coupled to the reference potential and second and third segmented elongated electrodes being parallel to and essentially in the same plane as the first elongated electrode. The segments within the second and third electrodes are configured such that the segments in the second electrode are staggered with respect to segments in the third electrode thereby minimizing or eliminating spacing between detection cells within the sensor array, reducing overall size of the sensor array and increasing measurement resolution. The sensor array exhibits a variable impedance resulting from changes in physical characteristics of the material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 1997
    Date of Patent: July 11, 2000
    Assignee: Honeywell-Measurex
    Inventor: Lee Chase
  • Patent number: 6086724
    Abstract: Particulates are trapped by laser beam and brought into contact with electrodes to electrochemically and spectroscopically measure the reaction process thereof.Precise measurement of the process of chemical reactions such as electrochemical and photochemical ones of a single particulate is made possible.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 30, 1995
    Date of Patent: July 11, 2000
    Assignee: Research Development Corporation of Japan
    Inventors: Kiyoharu Nakatani, Hiroaki Misawa, Noboru Kitamura, Tatsuya Uchida
  • Patent number: 6084418
    Abstract: An air-fuel ratio sensor generates linear air-fuel ratio detection signals proportional to concentration of oxygen in exhaust gas from an engine in response to a command voltage from a microprocessor. A bias command signal generated by the microprocessor is provided to a D/A converter which converts it to an analog signal. Thereafter, the signal is provided to an LPF for removing the high frequency components of the analog signal. Output voltage of the LPF is provided to a bias control circuit. A single AC signal which has a predetermined frequency and which is provided with a predetermined time constant (about 159 .mu.s) by the LPF is applied to the air-fuel ratio sensor. Element resistance of the air-fuel ratio sensor is detected based on the voltage of the AC signal and the change in the current level of the air-fuel ratio sensor caused by the application of the AC signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 11, 1998
    Date of Patent: July 4, 2000
    Assignee: Denso Corporation
    Inventors: Masayuki Takami, Tomomichi Mizoguchi, Satoshi Haseda, Kazuhiro Okazaki, Koji Jono