Volterra Semiconductor Patent Grants

Power management application of interconnect substrates

Granted: June 25, 2019
Patent Number: 10332827
Various applications of interconnect substrates in power management systems are described.

Systems and methods for intelligent, adaptive management of energy storage packs

Granted: May 7, 2019
Patent Number: 10283974
Systems and methods for intelligent, adaptive management of energy storage packs are disclosed. A method comprises receiving a first current measurement of a first energy storage cell electrically connected to a first converter circuit. The first converter circuit controls the charge and discharge of the first energy storage cell. A first voltage measurement of the first energy storage cell is received. A first temperature measurement of the first energy storage cell is received. The…

Voltage regulators with multiple transistors

Granted: May 7, 2019
Patent Number: 10284072
A voltage regulator includes a high-side device, a low-side device, and a controller. The high-side device includes first and second transistors each coupled between an input terminal and an intermediate terminal, where the first transistor has a higher breakdown voltage than the second transistor. The low-side device is coupled between the intermediate terminal and a ground terminal. The controller is configured to drive the high-side and low-side devices to (a) alternately couple the…

Coupled inductors with non-uniform winding terminal distributions

Granted: April 30, 2019
Patent Number: 10276288
A coupled inductor includes a ladder magnetic core including two opposing rails extending in a lengthwise direction and joined by a plurality of rungs. The coupled inductor further includes a respective winding wound around each of the plurality of rungs. The plurality of rungs are divided into at least two groups of rungs, and a lengthwise separation distance between adjacent rungs in each group of rungs is less than a lengthwise separation distance between adjacent rungs of different…

Voltage regulators with kickback protection

Granted: March 26, 2019
Patent Number: 10243467
The subject matter of this document can be embodied in a method that includes a voltage regulator having an input terminal and an output terminal. The voltage regulator includes a high-side transistor between the input terminal and an intermediate terminal, and a low-side transistor between the intermediate terminal and ground. The voltage regulator includes a low-side driver circuit including a capacitor and an inverter. The output of the inverter is connected to the gate of the…

Systems and methods for DC-to-DC converter control

Granted: March 5, 2019
Patent Number: 10222814
A method for controlling a number of phases that are active in a multiphase direct-current-to-direct-current (DC-to-DC) converter includes (a) filtering a current signal representing a magnitude of current processed by the multiphase DC-to-DC converter to generate a filtered signal, (b) comparing the filtered signal to a first threshold value, (c) deactivating one or more phases of the multiphase DC-to-DC converter in response to the filtered signal falling below the first threshold…

Systems and methods for controlling DC-to-DC converters including unregulated operating modes

Granted: February 12, 2019
Patent Number: 10205390
A method for controlling a DC-to-DC converter includes: (a) regulating a magnitude of an output voltage of the DC-to-DC converter according to a magnitude of a reference voltage; (b) in response to a command to enter the unregulated operating mode, allowing the magnitude of the output voltage to fall; and (c) adjusting the magnitude of the reference voltage to track the magnitude of the output voltage. A controller for a DC-to-DC converter includes reference and switching modules. The…

Transistor with buried P+ and source contact

Granted: December 4, 2018
Patent Number: 10147801
The present application features a transistor that includes an n-well region implanted into a surface of a substrate, a gate region, and a source region, and a drain region. The source region is on a first side of the gate region and includes a p-body region in the n-well region. An n+ region and a p+ region are implanted in the p-body region such that the p+ region is below the n+ region. The drain region is on a second side of the gate region and includes an n+ region.

Coupled inductor arrays and associated methods

Granted: November 13, 2018
Patent Number: 10128035
A coupled inductor array includes a monolithic magnetic core formed of magnetic materials having a distributed gap, first and second windings, and a low-permeability magnetic structure. The first and second windings form respective first and second winding turns around a common winding axis extending in the height direction. The low-permeability magnetic structure is embedded in the monolithic magnetic core and forms a loop around the common winding axis. The low-permeability magnetic…

Air core coupled inductors

Granted: July 10, 2018
Patent Number: 10020109
A switching power converter includes a first and second switching device, an air core coupled inductor, and a controller. The air core coupled inductor includes a first winding electrically coupled to the first switching device and a second winding electrically coupled to the second switching device. The first and second windings are magnetically coupled. The controller is operable to cause the first and second switching devices to repeatedly switch between their conductive and…

Systems and methods for controlling maximum power point tracking controllers

Granted: May 8, 2018
Patent Number: 9966899
A method for testing a photovoltaic device electrically coupled to an input port of a maximum power point tracking (MPPT) controller, where the MPPT controller includes a switching circuit adapted to transfer power between the input port and an output port of the MPPT controller, includes the steps of: (a) driving a test current into the output port of the MPPT controller; (b) detecting presence of the test current; and (c) in response to detecting presence of the test current, causing…

Voltage regulators with kickback protection

Granted: December 19, 2017
Patent Number: 9847722
The subject matter of this document can be embodied in a method that includes a voltage regulator having an input terminal and an output terminal. The voltage regulator includes a high-side transistor between the input terminal and an intermediate terminal, and a low-side transistor between the intermediate terminal and ground. The voltage regulator includes a low-side driver circuit including a capacitor and an inverter. The output of the inverter is connected to the gate of the…

Integrated photovoltaic panel with sectional maximum power point tracking

Granted: December 5, 2017
Patent Number: 9837556
An integrated photovoltaic panel has one or more integral DC-DC converter circuits. The DC-DC converter input port couples to a section of at least one photovoltaic (PV) device of the panel separate from PV devices feeding other converters. The converter has an MPPT controller for operating the converter to transfer maximum power from coupled photovoltaic devices to its output port. The PV panel has a transparent substrate to which PV devices are mounted. A laminating material seals PV…

Chip-scale packaging with protective heat spreader

Granted: October 31, 2017
Patent Number: 9806001
A semiconductor package can include a semiconductor die having an integrated circuit, a first die surface, and an opposite second die surface. A packaging can be attached to the die and have a holder surface opposite the first die surface. A heat spreader can be configured to cover the second die surface and the packaging surface and can be attached thereto by a layer of adhesive positioned between the heat spreader and the semiconductor die. A semiconductor package array can include an…

Switching circuits for extracting power from an electric power source and associated methods

Granted: October 31, 2017
Patent Number: 9806523
A switching circuit for extracting power from an electric power source includes (1) an input port for electrically coupling to the electric power source, (2) an output port for electrically coupling to a load, (3) a first switching device configured to switch between its conductive state and its non-conductive state to transfer power from the input port to the output port, (4) an intermediate switching node that transitions between at least two different voltage levels at least in part…

Multistage and multiple-output DC-DC converters having coupled inductors

Granted: September 26, 2017
Patent Number: 9774259
A multiple-output DC-DC converter has a first and a second DC-DC sub-converter, each DC-DC subconverter may be a buck, boost, or buck-boost converter having a primary energy-storage inductor. Each DC-DC subconverter drives a separate output of the multiple-output converter and typically has a separate feedback control circuit for controlling output voltage and/or current. The converter has a common timing circuit to maintain a phase offset between the first and DC-DC subconverters. The…

Coupled inductors enabling increased switching stage pitch

Granted: September 19, 2017
Patent Number: 9767947
A coupled inductor includes a first end magnetic element, a second end magnetic element, N connecting magnetic elements, and N windings, where N is an integer greater than one. Each of the N connecting magnetic elements connects to both of the first and second end magnetic elements. Each of the N windings is wound around a respective one of the N connecting magnetic elements such that the N windings are wound in alternating opposing directions. Possible applications of the coupled…

Systems and methods for controlling DC-to-DC converters including unregulated operating modes

Granted: August 8, 2017
Patent Number: 9729052
A method for controlling a DC-to-DC converter includes: (a) regulating a magnitude of an output voltage of the DC-to-DC converter according to a magnitude of a reference voltage; (b) in response to a command to enter the unregulated operating mode, allowing the magnitude of the output voltage to fall; and (c) adjusting the magnitude of the reference voltage to track the magnitude of the output voltage. A controller for a DC-to-DC converter includes reference and switching modules. The…

Coupled inductors with leakage plates, and associated systems and methods

Granted: August 1, 2017
Patent Number: 9721719
A coupled inductor includes a ladder magnetic core, a first common leakage plate formed of a magnetic material, and N windings, where N is an integer greater than one. The ladder magnetic core includes first and second rails and N rungs, where each of the N rungs connects the first and second rails. Each of the N windings includes a respective first portion. Each of the N windings is wound around a respective one of the N rungs, and at least two of the N windings are wrapped at least…

Voltage regulators with multiple transistors

Granted: August 1, 2017
Patent Number: 9722483
A voltage regulator has an input terminal and a ground terminal. The voltage regulator includes a high-side device, a low side device, and a controller. The high-side device is coupled between the input terminal and an intermediate terminal. The high-side device includes first and second transistors each coupled between the input terminal and the intermediate terminal, such that the first transistor controls a drain-source switching voltage of the second transistor. The low-side device…