Atmel Patent Grants

Changing the detection range of a touch sensor

Granted: January 10, 2017
Patent Number: 9542046
In one embodiment, a method for changing the detection range of a touch sensor includes receiving a signal associated with an operation of a device having a touch sensor, and in response to the signal, determining that a detection mode of the touch sensor associated with the device is to be changed. In response to the determination, decreasing sensitivity of a portion, but not all, of the touch sensor.

Permitting coexistence of data transfer of interferring wireless signals

Granted: January 10, 2017
Patent Number: 9544813
A system and method of permitting coexistence of WiFi and Bluetooth® data transfer on a single chip in UE including a transceiver includes using CTS data packets to protect Bluetooth® signals for SCO communication links; using only WiFi circuitry in the chip to determine when Bluetooth® data transfer is required by the UE; establishing a specified period of the Bluetooth® data transfer; and starting WiFi medium contention only upon an end of the specified period of the Bluetooth®…

Common mode noise suppression during hovering and proximity detection

Granted: January 3, 2017
Patent Number: 9535545
In one embodiment, a touch sensor includes a touch screen having a plurality of electrodes and a controller. The controller is operable to detect that an object is in proximity to the touch screen by measuring capacitance values from a reference area of the touch screen, determining a reference capacitance value using the measured capacitance values from the reference area, measuring capacitance values from a main area of the touch screen, and suppressing noise from the measured…

Capacitive sensing

Granted: December 27, 2016
Patent Number: 9531380
A multi-channel capacitive sensor comprises a sample capacitor having first and second terminals, a first diode having a first terminal coupled to the second terminal of the sample capacitor and a second terminal coupled to a first sense electrode, and a second diode having a first terminal coupled to the second terminal of the sample capacitor and a second terminal coupled to a second sense electrode. The sample capacitor and diodes are coupled to a control circuit. The control circuit…

Microcontroller input/output connector state retention in low-power modes

Granted: December 6, 2016
Patent Number: 9513691
A microcontroller is operable in a low-power mode and includes one or more I/O connectors, as well as an I/O controller operable to provide control signals for controlling a state of a particular one of the I/O connectors. The I/O controller is powered off or deactivated during the low-power mode. The microcontroller also includes I/O connector state control logic operable to control the state of the particular one of the I/O connectors in accordance with the control signals from the I/O…

Configuring power domains of a microcontroller system

Granted: November 29, 2016
Patent Number: 9507406
A microcontroller system is organized into power domains. A power manager of the microcontroller system can change the power configuration of a power domain in response to event from an event generating module without activating a processor of the microcontroller system.

Touch sensor with inductive charging

Granted: November 29, 2016
Patent Number: 9507447
In one embodiment, an apparatus includes a substrate, a flexible printed circuit (FPC), a touch sensor, and an inductive-charging element. The FPC is coupled to the substrate. The touch sensor is disposed on the substrate. The touch sensor includes electrodes made of conductive material. The inductive-charging component is disposed on the substrate or the FPC.

Voltage reference with low sensitivty to package shift

Granted: November 22, 2016
Patent Number: 9501078
In a bandgap voltage reference with low package shift, a proportional to absolute temperature (PTAT) voltage is generated using a single diode biased at two different current levels at two different times. Using the same diode for both current density measurements removes the absolute value of the base-emitter junction voltage (Vbe) and any package shift in the PTAT voltage. The bandgap voltage reference can be implemented in a single or differential circuit topology. In some…

Touch sensor for curved or flexible surfaces

Granted: November 22, 2016
Patent Number: 9501179
In one embodiment, an apparatus includes a substantially flexible substrate configured to bend at an edge between a first surface and a second surface of a device. The edge has an angle of deviation between the first and second surfaces of at least approximately 45°. The apparatus includes a touch sensor disposed on the substantially flexible substrate and configured to bend with the substantially flexible substrate at the edge between the first and second surfaces. The touch sensor…

Non-volatile floating gate memory cells

Granted: November 22, 2016
Patent Number: 9502581
A storage transistor for non-volatile memory can be fabricated to create controlled sharp polycrystalline silicon (polysilicon) edges. The edges concentrate the electric field in the storage transistor and are used to enhance tunneling between layers of polysilicon for both program and erase operations. The storage transistor includes first and second polysilicon layers and a tunneling dielectric layer between the first and second polysilicon layers, and the second polysilicon layer…

Two-dimensional position sensor

Granted: November 15, 2016
Patent Number: 9495042
A two dimensional position sensor having a touch-sensitive panel defined by a single-layer electrode pattern arranged on one side of a substrate. The electrode pattern is made up of ‘n’ electrode units extending row-wise over the panel. Each electrode unit is made up of a single drive electrode extending across the touch-sensitive area of the panel and a plurality of ‘m’ sense electrodes, which collectively laterally extend across the touch-sensitive area and individually each…

Secure contactless data communication

Granted: November 15, 2016
Patent Number: 9496936
In one embodiment, a method includes receiving, at a first device, a first signal transmitted from a first antenna and receiving a second signal after receiving the first signal. The second signal is transmitted from a second antenna after the first signal was transmitted from the first antenna. The method includes determining expected characteristics of an expected signal based on combining the first signal and the second signal. The method includes receiving, at the first device, a…

Noise reduction in capacitive touch sensors

Granted: November 8, 2016
Patent Number: 9489072
In touch sensitive display devices, the display scanning circuitry responsible for driving images of the panel screen can cause noise on the electrodes of nearby touch sensors. The display controller circuit and/or the touch sensor controller circuit of the exemplary touchscreen display devices may be configured to reduce such noise during the touch sensor acquisition cycle by implementing one or more of several techniques in which a portion of each of the sensor acquisition cycles…

Breaking code execution based on time consumption

Granted: November 8, 2016
Patent Number: 9489287
An on-chip system uses a time measurement circuit to trap code that takes longer than expected to execute by breaking code execution on excess time consumption.

Adaptive non-volatile memory programming

Granted: November 8, 2016
Patent Number: 9489990
In an embodiment, a method of programming non-volatile memory (NVM) comprises: determining, by control logic of an NVM system, a number of unsuccessful attempts to program NVM cells; responsive to the determining, dividing the NVM cells into at least a first group and a second group; programming the first group during a first programming cycle; and programming the second group during a second programming cycle, wherein the first programming cycle and second programming cycle are…

Single-wire communications using iterative baud learning

Granted: November 8, 2016
Patent Number: 9490999
Systems and techniques for single-wire communications are described. A described technique includes detecting transitions on a single-wire bus that are produced by a host device; determining an estimated baud rate of the host device based on the transitions by approximating a bit transition rate associated with the transitions by iteratively adjusting a charging rate of a capacitor to match the bit transition rate; and communicating with the host device based on the estimated baud rate.

Active stylus with fractional clock-cycle timing

Granted: November 1, 2016
Patent Number: 9483129
In one embodiment, a method performed by an active stylus includes wirelessly receiving a synchronization signal from a touch controller. The method also includes determining a synchronization parameter of the synchronization signal, the synchronization parameter including an integer part and a fractional part, the integer part representing a positive integer multiple of an active-stylus clock period and the fractional part representing a fractional portion of the active-stylus clock…

Touch sensor having a single sensor layer

Granted: October 25, 2016
Patent Number: 9478189
In one aspect, a touch sensor includes a dielectric surface layer; drive electrodes disposed on the dielectric surface layer and arranged radially about a center, the drive electrodes defining a perimeter about the center, and a sense electrode disposed on the dielectric surface layer and arranged between two of the drive electrodes. Each drive electrode can include: an outer radial section extending radially along the perimeter; a central section extending from the outer radial section…

Circuit, system and method for communication between two nodes of a radio network

Granted: October 25, 2016
Patent Number: 9479952
A first node of a radio network initiates a mode for finding the range to a second node. The first node transmits to the second node, with the address of the second node, a range finding command, which switches the second node into the range finding mode and controls a sequence. The first node transmits in a transmission time window a first signal, which is received by the second node in an associated reception time window, a first phase value of the first signal being measured. The…

Measuring power consumption of circuit component operating in ultra-low power mode

Granted: October 18, 2016
Patent Number: 9470725
By powering an electronic component operating in an ultra-low power mode from a pre-charged measuring capacitor and measuring the time to discharge the capacitor to a trip voltage level, measurement data can be obtained. In some implementations, the capacitance of the capacitor can be obtained by adding a known current to the unknown current drawn from the capacitor and calculating the capacitance using a mathematical formula.