News Column

Patent Issued for Dual-Function Integrated Circuit

July 23, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Journal of Engineering -- STMicroelectronics (Rousset) SAS (Rousset, FR) has been issued patent number 8772931, according to news reporting originating out of Alexandria, Virginia, by VerticalNews editors.

The patent's inventor is Tailliet, Francois (Fuveau, FR).

This patent was filed on July 17, 2012 and was published online on July 8, 2014.

From the background information supplied by the inventors, news correspondents obtained the following quote: "Embodiments generally relate to electronic circuits and, more specifically, to integrated circuits housed in a package having connection tabs adapted to transfer contacts to other components or other circuits of an electronic device.

"Many electronic circuits, be they monolithic circuits, or digital or analog integrated circuits, are assembled in packages to then be assembled with other circuits or components on an electronic board, for example, a printed circuit.

"The packages are generally made of resin or other insulating materials and comprise conductive contacting elements to transfer connections internal to the package to the outside, to establish connections with the other electronic board circuits.

"The connection transfer elements may be conductive contact transfer tabs laterally coming out of the package, conductive bumps at the lower surface of the package to be transferred to corresponding conductive pads of the electronic board, etc.

"As a result of the miniaturization of integrated circuits, the bulk of an electronic circuit is now due more to the package bulk than to the bulk associated with the electronic functions performed by the integrated circuit. This results in a loss of space in packages having a size, among others, conditioned by the elements of connection to the outside and the intervals to be left between these elements to provide an insulation between the different external connections.

"It has already been provided to house, in a same package, several integrated circuits, or a circuit performing several functions, by selecting the function to be used by means of a dedicated external terminal. The circuit connection terminals (tabs or bumps) can then be configured to be assigned to one or the other function. Such a solution requires an additional terminal, which generates an increase of the package size due to its simple presence."

Supplementing the background information on this patent, VerticalNews reporters also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent: "An embodiment overcomes all or part of the disadvantages of known usual dual-function electronic circuits.

"Another embodiment provides a packaged electronic circuit capable of performing two functions without for any external terminal to be necessary to select the chosen function.

"Thus an embodiment provides an electronic circuit in a package, comprising two functions, the package orientation activating a single one of the two functions.

"According to an embodiment, the circuit comprises, on each of two opposite sides of the package, a first terminal intended to receive a power supply voltage, the respective positions of the first two terminals being symmetrical with respect to the center of the segment connecting the first two terminals.

"According to an embodiment, the circuit further comprises a selector of the activated function according to the direction of the power supply voltage applied between said first terminals.

"According to an embodiment, said selector comprises: two terminals of provision of a power supply voltage internal to the electronic circuit; and a terminal for providing a signal indicative of the circuit orientation.

"According to an embodiment, each first terminal is connected to one of said internal power supply terminals by a single MOS transistor.

"According to an embodiment, second terminals are directly connected to one or the other of the functions.

"According to an embodiment, second terminals are connected, via multiplexers, to said functions.

"The foregoing and other features and advantages will be discussed in detail in the following non-limiting description of specific embodiments in connection with the accompanying drawings."

For the URL and additional information on this patent, see: Tailliet, Francois. Dual-Function Integrated Circuit. U.S. Patent Number 8772931, filed July 17, 2012, 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=8772931.PN.&OS=PN/8772931RS=PN/8772931

Keywords for this news article include: STMicroelectronics.

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Source: Journal of Engineering


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