Patent number 8558590 is assigned to
The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "A reference current generator circuit supplying a reference current serving as a reference of circuit operation is used in an electronic circuit such as a large scale integrated circuit (LSI).
"For example, a reference voltage or a reference current is needed to operate electronic circuits including an analog circuit having a complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) to operate. Such electronic circuit includes a reference current generator circuit to generate a reference current.
"Japanese Laid-Open Patent Publication No. 2002-118451, Japanese Laid-Open Patent Publication No. 2005-285019, and Japanese Laid-Open Patent Publication No. 2009-066921 describe reference current generator circuits.
"The reference current generated by the reference current generator circuit may be fed to a load circuit of the electronic circuit or drained from the load circuit.
"The current-source type load circuit in which current is fed into and the current-sink type load circuit in which current is sunk therefrom are different from each other in the direction of current flow. The reference current generator circuit of a different type may be required depending on the type of the load circuit, in other words, the direction of current flow.
"Since the current-source type load circuit and the current-sink type load circuit are different from each other in the direction of current flow, it is rather difficult to handle the reference circuit generator circuit as a black-box circuit. If the load circuit is connected to a reference current generator circuit in error, the load circuit is likely to malfunction.
"It is desirable to provide a reference current generator circuit which can be connected to a load circuit regardless of the direction of current, and is easily handled as a black-box circuit, and to provide an information processing apparatus including the reference current generator circuit."
In addition to the background information obtained for this patent, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent: "According to an embodiment of the invention, a reference current generating circuit includes a reference voltage generating unit that generates a reference voltage, a bias voltage generating unit that includes a first transistor of a first conductive type and a second transistor of a second conductive type each outputs a reference current based on the reference voltage, and generates a first bias voltage and a second bias voltage, respectively, a first output transistor of a first conductive type that outputs a current corresponds to a reference current when the first bias voltage is supplied to its control terminal, a second output transistor of a second conductive type that outputs a current corresponds to a reference current when the second bias voltage is supplied to its control terminal, an input-output unit in which one terminal thereof is connected between an output terminal of the first output transistor and an input terminal of the second output terminal and the other terminal is connected to a load circuit, and supplies current from the first output transistor to the load circuit or supplies current from the load circuit to the second output transistor, and a switching unit that turns on or off the first output transistor and the second output transistor based on voltage of an output from the input-output unit.
"A reference current generator circuit discussed herein is connected to a load circuit regardless of the direction of current, and is easily handled as a black-box circuit. Also discussed herein is an information processing apparatus including the reference current generator circuit.
"The object and advantages of the invention will be realized and attained by means of the elements and combinations particularly pointed out in the claims.
"It is to be understood that both the foregoing general description and the following detailed description are exemplary and explanatory and are not restrictive of the invention, as claimed."
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