Atmel Patent Grants

Secure access in a microcontroller system

Granted: July 25, 2017
Patent Number: 9715601
Systems, methods and computer-readable mediums are disclosed for providing secure access in a microcontroller system. In some implementations, a microcontroller system comprises a system bus and a secure central processing unit (CPU) coupled to the system bus. The secure CPU is configured to provide secure access to the system bus. A non-secure CPU is also coupled to the system bus and is configured to provide non-secure access to the system bus. A non-secure memory is coupled to the…

Managing wait states for memory access

Granted: July 18, 2017
Patent Number: 9710169
A latch signal is received from a non-volatile memory device that is indicative of a current access time for the non-volatile memory device. The access time represents an amount of time required for the non-volatile memory device to make data available responsive to a request for data. A bus system clock signal is received. The latch signal is evaluated and a wait state for the non-volatile memory device is adjusted based on the evaluation. The wait state represents a number of cycles of…

Microcontroller with integrated monitoring capabilities for network applications

Granted: July 18, 2017
Patent Number: 9710352
A microcontroller has integrated monitoring capabilities for network applications. The disclosed techniques can take advantage, for example, of an unused, duplicate network controller that is present in some microcontrollers by providing selection circuitry and configuration capabilities that allow the unused, duplicate network controller to be used for the purpose of monitoring frames that are transferred between network media and another network controller residing on the…

Double-sided electronic package

Granted: July 11, 2017
Patent Number: 9704812
Embodiments of a double-sided electronic package and methods for fabricating the same are disclosed. In an embodiment, an electronic package comprises: a substrate having a first surface and a second surface; a leadframe having package pad features attached to the first surface of the substrate; a first integrated circuit die attached to the leadframe and electrically coupled to at least one of the package pad features; and molding disposed on the first surface of the substrate between…

Driving circuits for light emitting elements

Granted: July 11, 2017
Patent Number: 9706610
A circuit for driving light emitting elements, such as LEDs, includes a first transistor having a source coupled to ground through a first resistive element, and a second transistor having a gate electrically coupled to a gate of the first transistor, a source electrically coupled to ground, and a drain for electrical connection to a first group of light emitting elements. The circuit also includes circuitry to provide a predetermined voltage at the source of the first transistor,…

Measuring power consumption of circuit component operating in run mode

Granted: July 4, 2017
Patent Number: 9696353
A sense resistor is coupled between a power source and one or more power pins of an integrated circuit (IC) chip including a circuit component (e.g., a microcontroller unit (MCU)). An on-chip amplifier (e.g., a programmable gain amplifier or op-amp) amplifies the voltage drop over the sense resistor to a level that is within the dynamic range of an on-chip analog-to-digital converter (ADC). In some implementations, the measured signals can be time-stamped and stored in a trace buffer and…

Stylus with low-power detector

Granted: July 4, 2017
Patent Number: 9696826
In one embodiment, a stylus includes a receiver for receiving signals wirelessly transmitted by a device. The stylus can alternate, during a first period of time, power supplied to the receiver between a first power for a first duration and a second power for a second duration. The first power is greater than the second power. The stylus can determine how many events exceeding an event criteria occurred the each first duration, and if the events exceed a threshold, the stylus can…

Sign detection in multi-dimensional signal measurements

Granted: July 4, 2017
Patent Number: 9697659
Systems, methods, circuits and computer-readable mediums are disclosed for sign detection in multi-dimensional signal measurements. In some implementations, orthogonally oriented antennas are configured to generate signals in response to a magnetic field, where the signals correspond to components of magnetic field vectors in space. A circuit is coupled to the antennas and configured to: determine polarities of the signals based on phase measurements between the signals; reduce a…

Adjustable power and system efficiency maximizing scheme using micro-controllers

Granted: July 4, 2017
Patent Number: 9698597
A method performed by a circuit for managing power, the method comprising: receiving a plurality of voltages at a microcontroller, where each voltage is associated with a distinct power supply; determining one or more voltages of the plurality of voltages are being or will be adjusted by the respective power supply; in response to the determining, optimizing, using the microcontroller, one or more parameters of one or more of the power supplies to minimize power loss.

Locking active stylus and touch-sensor device

Granted: June 27, 2017
Patent Number: 9690431
In one embodiment, a system comprises a touch sensor and a stylus. The touch sensor comprises drive lines and sense lines arranged such that intersections of the drive lines and sense lines form capacitive nodes. The drive lines transmits a first signal having an identification portion. The stylus comprises a sense unit and a drive unit. The sense unit senses the first signal from the drive lines, compares the identification portion to criteria stored in the stylus, and authorizes the…

Peripheral register parameter refreshing

Granted: June 27, 2017
Patent Number: 9690726
Systems, methods, circuits and computer-readable mediums for peripheral sequencing using an access sequence are disclosed. In some implementations, a control register and status register in a peripheral are initialized with control data for selecting peripheral registers of the peripheral to be refreshed during an access sequence. For each peripheral register to be refreshed during the access sequence: a data register of the peripheral register is accessed; the peripheral register is…

System internal latency measurements in realtime applications

Granted: June 27, 2017
Patent Number: 9690727
Systems, methods, circuits and computer-readable mediums for system internal latency measurements in realtime applications are disclosed. In some implementations, a trigger signal is selected from a plurality of trigger signals for interrupting a processor of an integrated circuit system. The trigger signal includes a pulse having width. The system detects a rising edge of the pulse and starts a counter. The system detects a falling edge of the pulse and stops the counter. The system…

Apparatus using a differential analog-to-digital converter

Granted: June 27, 2017
Patent Number: 9692439
Electronic apparatus and methods of operating the electronic apparatus include less than a frequency associated with a generated waveform. In various embodiments, an apparatus using a differential analog-to-digital converter can perform low frequency noise rejection that can be implemented in a variety of applications. Additional apparatus, systems, and methods are disclosed.

Power trace port for tracing states of power domains

Granted: June 20, 2017
Patent Number: 9684367
A power trace port included in a system (e.g., a microcontroller system) having multiple power domains includes a power trace port that outputs digital signals indicating the states of the power domains. If each power domain is independent of other power domains in the system, each power domain can have its own set of power trace pins in the power trace port that are at least partially external to the system. If a power domain has multiple states, multiple pins can be used to indicate…

Automatic gain control for received signal strength indication

Granted: June 20, 2017
Patent Number: 9685925
In some implementations, an automatic gain control (AGC) circuit comprises: a pre-divider circuit operable to pre-divide an input signal according to a pre-divider circuit setting and output a pre-divided signal; a pre-amplifier operable to pre-amplify the pre-divided signal and output a pre-amplified signal; a post-divider circuit operable to post-divide the pre-amplified signal according to a post-divider circuit setting; an analog-to-digital converter (ADC) operable to generate a…

Increasing the dynamic range of an integrator based mutual-capacitance measurement circuit

Granted: June 6, 2017
Patent Number: 9671916
In one embodiment, a device comprises one or more memory units collectively storing logic configured to cause one or more processors to perform operations. The operations comprise: obtaining a first measurement associated with a first voltage output by a mutual-capacitance measurement circuit; obtaining a second measurement associated with a second voltage, the second voltage output by the mutual-capacitance measurement circuit in response to a first change in capacitance; obtaining a…

Passive transponder with a charging circuit

Granted: May 30, 2017
Patent Number: 9665749
In one embodiment, a passive transponder comprising a first circuit comprising a first attenuator, the first circuit configured to receive a first signal from at least one base station and coupled to a first node, a first rectifier coupled to the first node, the first rectifier configured in a forward direction to charge a first capacitor, and the first capacitor coupled to the first rectifier, the first capacitor configured to receive a charge from the attenuator sufficient for powering…

Reference voltage circuits in microcontroller systems

Granted: May 23, 2017
Patent Number: 9658682
A microcontroller system includes a higher power reference voltage circuit and a lower power reference voltage circuit configured to draw less power than the higher power reference voltage circuit when enabled. The system includes a power state logic controller configured to enable the lower power reference voltage circuit to provide a first regulated voltage during a power saving mode, and, on exiting the power saving mode, enable the higher power reference voltage circuit to provide a…

Locating a backscatter-based transponder

Granted: May 23, 2017
Patent Number: 9661401
A method and apparatus for locating a transponder is provided. A carrier signal is transmitted by a base station and a transponder transmits a locating signal that is generated through phase modulation and backscattering of the carrier signal sent by the base station when the transponder is within a transmission range of the base station, whereby the transponder is located on the basis of the locating signal.

Proximity detection

Granted: May 16, 2017
Patent Number: 9651355
In certain embodiments, a proximity sensor includes a sensing element, an oscillator connected to the sensing element, and control circuitry connected to the oscillator. The sensing element has a capacitance to ground that is variable as a function of the proximity of an object to the sensing element. The oscillator includes a capacitor. The control circuitry is configured to supply an excitation to the oscillator and a charge to the sensing element, and to measure the resonant frequency…