The assignee for this patent, patent number 8619397, is
Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Input power ports and/or related components can be protected from undesirable power conditions (e.g., electrostatic discharge (ESD)) using multiple external (e.g., off-board) and/or internal (e.g., on-board) discrete devices such as shunt devices (e.g., zener diodes, TVS devices). When the input power port is protected from undesirable power conditions using multiple devices, unpredictable and/or unwanted interactions can occur between the external and/or internal devices. For example, mismatches between external shunt protection devices added to an integrated circuit, which already includes an internal shunt protection device, can result in unpredictable and/or unwanted interactions in the event of an ESD pulse. Specifically, an internal shunt protection device that has a lower trigger voltage may absorb all energy of the ESD pulse, rendering the external shunt protection devices irrelevant, independent of its 'power rating'. In some embodiments, the external and internal shunt protection devices may share the energy of the ESD pulse in some fashion that may or may not protect the integrated circuit. Designing matched internal and external shunt protection devices to avoid many of these issues can be a time-consuming, expensive, and/or trial-and-error process, which may not be feasible in some applications. In addition, common methods of balancing (e.g., adding a series resistor) can have an undesirable level of series resistance during normal operation that can cause, for example, signal attenuation. Thus, a need exists for systems, methods, and apparatus to address the shortfalls of present technology and to provide other new and innovative features."
In addition to obtaining background information on this patent, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent: "In one general aspect, an apparatus can include a non-linear power management device having an output terminal configured to be coupled to an output shunt device configured to shunt energy in response to a voltage across the output shunt device exceeding a trigger voltage of the output shunt device. The non-linear power management device can be configured to change to a saturation mode in response to a first current associated with an energy pulse through the non-linear power management device. The apparatus can include an input shunt device coupled to an input terminal of the non-linear power management device and having a trigger voltage higher than the trigger voltage of the output shunt device. The input shunt device can be configured to shunt a second current associated with the energy pulse in response to a voltage drop across the non-linear power management device.
"In another general aspect, a method can include receiving a current at a non-linear power management device. At least a first portion of the current can be passed through the non-linear power management device and shunted through a first shunt device, which is operably coupled to the non-linear power management device, in response to a voltage across the first shunt device exceeding a trigger voltage of the first shunt device. The method can also include changing the non-linear power management device to a saturation mode in response to a second portion of the current through the non-linear power management device larger than the first current, and can also include increasing, while in the saturation mode, a voltage at an input terminal of the non-linear power management device until the voltage exceeds a trigger voltage of a second shunt device greater than the trigger voltage of the first shunt device.
"In yet another general aspect, an apparatus can include an input terminal configured to be coupled to an input shunt device, and an output terminal configured to be coupled to an output shunt device. The apparatus can also include a non-linear element disposed between the input terminal and the output terminal. The non-linear element can have a non-linear current-voltage behavior, and the non-linear element can be configured to trigger the input shunt device to change to a shunting state in response to a current drawn through the non-linear element by the output shunt device.
"The details of one or more implementations are set forth in the accompanying drawings and the description below. Other features will be apparent from the description and drawings, and from the claims."
For more information, see this patent: Mikolajczak, Adrian. Non-Linear Power Management Device for Input Power Protection. U.S. Patent Number 8619397, filed
Keywords for this news article include: Electronics,
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