News Column

Patent Issued for Circuits and Methods for Dynamic Voltage Management

July 23, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Electronics Newsweekly -- From Alexandria, Virginia, VerticalNews journalists report that a patent by the inventors Kozhumam, Shankar R. (Austin, TX); Tourville, Jon E. (Colorado Springs, CO), filed on December 3, 2008, was published online on July 8, 2014.

The patent's assignee for patent number 8773086 is Marvell International Ltd. (Hamilton, BM).

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present invention relates to voltage management, and in particular, to circuits and methods for dynamic voltage management.

"Portable applications such as Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), cell phones, and portable media players (PMPs) often operate from battery power. These applications try to conserve power when possible to increase the time between re-charging of the battery. Many portable devices implement standby and sleep modes to conserve power when the devices are not actively being used. For example, a cellular phone may switch into a standby mode when the user has not opened the phone to make a call for more than a minute. In standby mode, the cellular phone may turn off or disable all unnecessary electronics such that only a standby circuit is active. This limited operating condition may reduce power consumption and therefore may extend the time between re-charging of the battery.

"Electronic devices may also utilize a sleep mode. The sleep mode may disable all unnecessary electronics as well. Sleep mode for these devices may utilize a small portion of current to power a circuit for sensing a button being depressed. This limited operating condition may also reduce power consumption and therefore extend the time between re-charging of the battery.

"Although these power saving modes save power, the demand for more functionality is increasing the power demands on portable devices. For example, portable media players ('PMPs') integrate the functions of a cellular phone, PDA, web browser, media player, and a global positioning system (GPS) into one handheld device. All these functions may increase the amount of power used and may decrease the amount of time between re-charging of the battery. This may be troublesome if re-charging is required every day or twice a day."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "In one embodiment, the present invention includes a circuit comprising a voltage adjust circuit coupled to receive an input voltage, and an input terminal of an electronic system coupled to receive a supply voltage from an output terminal of the voltage adjust circuit, wherein the voltage adjust circuit adjusts the supply voltage based on a minimum voltage requirement of the electronic system during a power saving mode of operation, and in accordance therewith, reduces a leakage current supplied to the electronic system.

"In one embodiment, upon entering a power saving mode of operation from an normal mode of operation, the supply voltage is adjusted from a voltage for normal operation to a minimum voltage to retain the state of the logic gates in the electronic system.

"In one embodiment, the input voltage is generated by a battery.

"In one embodiment, the voltage adjust circuit includes a voltage drop circuit and a switch configured in parallel between the input voltage and the output terminal of the voltage adjust circuit.

"In one embodiment, the voltage adjust circuit includes a detector circuit having an input coupled to sense the input voltage and an output coupled to provide a signal to control the adjustment of the supply voltage.

"In one embodiment, the voltage adjust circuit includes a detector circuit having an input coupled to sense the supply voltage and an output coupled to provide a signal to control the adjustment of the supply voltage.

"In one embodiment, the voltage adjust circuit includes a voltage drop circuit coupled in series with a regulator.

"In one embodiment, the voltage drop circuit includes a first circuit coupled in parallel with a switch.

"In one embodiment, the first circuit is a diode.

"In one embodiment, the regulator is a DC to DC converter.

"In one embodiment, the adjustment includes changing the supply voltage by at least one discrete voltage step.

"In one embodiment, the adjustment occurs when the supply voltage falls below a threshold.

"In one embodiment, the adjustment occurs when the input voltage drops below a threshold.

"In one embodiment, the voltage adjust circuit comprises a voltage drop circuit having a first terminal coupled to receive the input voltage, a switch having a first terminal coupled to receive the input voltage, a comparator having a first terminal coupled to the input voltage, a second terminal coupled to a reference voltage, and an output coupled to the control the switch, and a DC to DC converter coupled to an output terminal of the voltage drop circuit and an output terminal of the switch, wherein the comparator generates a first signal when the input voltage is above the reference voltage, and in accordance therewith, the switch is opened and the voltage drop circuit provides a voltage drop, and wherein the comparator generates a second signal when the input voltage is below the reference voltage, and in accordance therewith, the switch is closed and the input voltage is coupled to the input of the DC to DC converter.

"In another embodiment, the present invention includes a method comprising converting an input voltage into a supply voltage using a voltage adjust circuit, powering an electronic system with the supply voltage, and adjusting the supply voltage generated by the voltage adjust circuit based on a minimum voltage requirement during a power saving mode of operation, and in accordance therewith, reducing the leakage current supplied to the electronic system.

"In one embodiment of the method, upon entering a power saving mode of operation from a normal mode of operation, the supply voltage is adjusted from a voltage for normal operation to a minimum voltage to retain the state of the logic gates in the electronic system.

"In one embodiment of the method, if the input voltage is above a threshold corresponding to said minimum voltage, said converting includes configuring the voltage adjust circuit to include a first voltage drop between the input voltage and the supply voltage, and if the input voltage is below the threshold, said converting includes configuring the voltage adjust circuit to short the input voltage to the supply voltage through a switch.

"In one embodiment the method further comprises detecting the input voltage, and in accordance therewith, providing a signal to control the adjustment of the supply voltage based on the input voltage.

"In one embodiment the method further comprises detecting the supply voltage, and in accordance therewith, providing a signal to control the adjustment of the supply voltage based on the supply voltage.

"In one embodiment, converting comprises coupling the input voltage through a voltage drop circuit in series with a regulator.

"In another embodiment, converting comprises configuring the voltage adjust circuit to include a first voltage drop between the input voltage and the input of the electronic system if the input voltage is above a threshold corresponding to said minimum voltage, and configuring the voltage adjust circuit to short an input and output of the voltage drop circuit through a switch if the input voltage is below the threshold.

"In another embodiment, the voltage drop circuit selectively introduces a diode voltage drop between the input voltage and the electronic system.

"In another embodiment, the regulator is a DC to DC buck converter.

"In another embodiment, the adjustment includes changing the supply voltage by at least one discrete voltage step.

"In another embodiment, the adjustment occurs when the supply voltage falls below a threshold.

"In another embodiment, the adjustment occurs when the input voltage drops below a threshold.

"In one embodiment of the method the converting comprises receiving a signal indicating that the electronic system has entered a power saving mode of operation, comparing the input voltage to a threshold corresponding to said minimum voltage requirement during a power saving mode of operation, coupling the input voltage through a voltage drop circuit if the input voltage is above said threshold, and coupling the input voltage through a switch if the input voltage is below said threshold, and coupling an output of the voltage drop circuit through a DC to DC converter.

"In one embodiment, the input voltage is a battery voltage that reduces over time.

"In one embodiment, the voltage drop circuit is a diode.

"The following detailed description and accompanying drawings provide a better understanding of the nature and advantages of the present invention."

For additional information on this patent, see: Kozhumam, Shankar R.; Tourville, Jon E.. Circuits and Methods for Dynamic Voltage Management. U.S. Patent Number 8773086, filed December 3, 2008, and published online on July 8, 2014. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=8773086.PN.&OS=PN/8773086RS=PN/8773086

Keywords for this news article include: Electronics, Marvell International Ltd.

Our reports deliver fact-based news of research and discoveries from around the world. Copyright 2014, NewsRx LLC


For more stories covering the world of technology, please see HispanicBusiness' Tech Channel



Source: Electronics Newsweekly


Story Tools






HispanicBusiness.com Facebook Linkedin Twitter RSS Feed Email Alerts & Newsletters