News Column

Researchers Submit Patent Application, "Low Profile Inductors for High Density Circuit Boards", for Approval

August 6, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Electronics Newsweekly -- From Washington, D.C., VerticalNews journalists report that a patent application by the inventor Ikriannikov, Alexandr (Castro Valley, CA), filed on March 17, 2014, was made available online on July 24, 2014.

The patent's assignee is Volterra Semiconductor Corporation.

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Many high density printed circuit board assemblies (PCBs) are installed in tight housings, or have bulky components attached to them, such that component height in portions of the PCB must be limited. For example, in the area near a processor of a personal computer motherboard, component height must be limited to avoid mechanical interference with processor heat sinks. Similarly, high profile components on PCMCIA or Cardbus devices are undesirable because they may require the device to occupy two slots in a laptop computer's connector instead of a single slot; occupancy of multiple slots may limit further system expandability and may prevent use with machines having only a single slot available.

"Voltage regulated down-converters for providing power to microprocessor integrated circuits of laptop and desktop personal computers are known. Such converters typically include one or more inductors."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent application: "In an embodiment, an inductor for assembly on a printed circuit board includes a core formed of a magnetic material and a first foil winding wound at least partially around or through at least a portion of the core. A first end of the first winding extends away from the core to form a first extended output tongue, and a second end of the first winding forms a solder tab. The solder tab and at least a portion of the first extended output tongue are formed at a same height relative to a bottom surface of the core for surface mount attachment to the printed circuit board. The first extended output tongue is configured and arranged to supplement or serve as a substitute for a first foil trace disposed on a surface of the printed circuit board.

"In an embodiment, an inductor for assembly on a printed circuit board includes a core formed of a magnetic material, a first winding wound at least partially around or through at least a portion of the core, and a first ground return conductor attached to the core. The first winding and the first ground return conductor are configured and arranged such that inductance of the first ground return conductor is not significantly increased by presence of the core, while inductance of the first winding is significantly increased by presence of the core, relative to an otherwise identical inductor without the core.

"In an embodiment, an inductor for assembly on a printed circuit board includes an elongated ground return conductor forming at least one solder tab at each end of the conductor. The inductor further includes at least two spacer elements disposed on the ground return conductor and an elongated foil winding forming at least one solder tab at each end of the winding. The winding is disposed on the spacer elements such that the spacer elements separate the ground return conductor from the winding to create a channel between the ground return conductor and the winding.

"In an embodiment, a printed circuit board assembly has a drop-in inductor attached to a printed circuit board. The drop-in inductor includes a first foil winding wound through an opening in a magnetic core and a first ground return conductor attached to the core. The first foil winding and the first ground return conductor are configured and arranged such that inductance of the first ground return conductor is not significantly increased by presence of the core, while inductance of the first foil winding is significantly increased by presence of the core, relative to an otherwise identical inductor without the core. The first foil winding and the first ground return conductor have ends formed as solder tabs for attachment to the printed circuit board, and the tabs of the first foil winding and the first ground return conductor are formed at a same height relative to a bottom surface of the core. The tabs of the first foil winding and the tabs of the first ground return conductor are attached to foil of the same layer of the printed circuit board. The printed circuit board forms an aperture, and the core of the inductor extends into the aperture.

"In an embodiment, a printed circuit board assembly includes a printed circuit board, at least one switching device attached to the printed circuit board, and an inductor attached to the printed circuit board. The inductor includes a core formed of a magnetic material and a foil winding wound at least partially around or through at least a portion of the core. A first end of the winding extends away from the core to form an extended input tongue. At least a portion of the extended input tongue is soldered to and supplements a first foil trace disposed on an outer surface of the printed circuit board, where the first foil trace electrically couples the at least one switching device to the first end of the winding.

"In an embodiment, a printed circuit board assembly includes a printed circuit board, at least one switching device attached to the printed circuit board, and an inductor attached to the printed circuit board. The inductor includes a core formed of a magnetic material and a foil winding wound at least partially around or through at least a portion of the core. A first end of the winding is electrically coupled to the at least one switching device, and a second end of the winding extends away from the core to form an extended output tongue. At least a portion of the extended output tongue is soldered to and supplements a first foil trace disposed on an outer surface of the printed circuit board.

"In an embodiment, an inductor for assembly on a printed circuit board includes a core formed of a magnetic material and a winding. The core has a first side and a second side opposite to the first side. A linear separation distance between the first and second sides of the core defines a length of the core. The winding includes (a) a core winding portion wound through the core, (b) a foil input tongue at the first side of the core and extending away from the core in the lengthwise direction, and a foil output tongue at the second side of the core and extending away from the core in the lengthwise direction. At least a portion of the foil input tongue and the foil output tongue are formed at a same height relative to a bottom surface of the core for surface mount attachment to the printed circuit board, where the height is generally perpendicular to the lengthwise direction.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"FIG. 1 illustrates a PRIOR ART cross section of a motherboard.

"FIG. 2 is a schematic of a PRIOR ART motherboard.

"FIG. 3 shows a side plan view of one inductor installed on a PCB, according to an embodiment.

"FIG. 4 shows a top plan view of the inductor of FIG. 3.

"FIG. 5 shows a side plan view of another embodiment of the inductor of FIG. 3 installed on a PCB.

"FIG. 6 shows a side plan view of yet another embodiment of the inductor of FIG. 3 installed on a PCB.

"FIG. 7 shows a top plan view of the inductor of FIG. 6.

"FIG. 8 shows a side plan view of one inductor including ground return conductors installed on a PCB, according to an embodiment.

"FIG. 9 shows a top plan view of the inductor of FIG. 8.

"FIG. 10 shows a top perspective view of the inductor of FIGS. 8 and 9 with a magnetic core removed.

"FIG. 11 shows a top plan view of one PCB footprint for use with the inductor of FIGS. 8-10, according to an embodiment.

"FIG. 12 is a side plan view of another embodiment of the inductor of FIG. 8 installed on a PCB.

"FIG. 13 is a top plan view of the inductor of FIG. 12.

"FIG. 14 is a top perspective view of the inductor of FIGS. 12 and 13 with a magnetic core removed.

"FIG. 15 shows a side plan view of yet another embodiment of the inductor of FIG. 8 installed on a PCB.

"FIG. 16 shows a top plan view of the inductor of FIG. 15.

"FIG. 17 shows a top perspective view of inductor of FIGS. 15 and 16.

"FIG. 18 shows a top plan view one coupled inductor including extended output tongues, according to an embodiment.

"FIG. 19 shows a top perspective view of one winding of the inductor of FIG. 18.

"FIG. 20 shows a top perspective view of another embodiment of the inductor of FIG. 18.

"FIG. 21 shows a top plan view of one coupled inductor including ground return conductors and extended input and output tongues, according to an embodiment.

"FIG. 22 shows a top plan view of an embodiment of the coupled inductor of FIG. 21 including an isolator.

"FIG. 23 shows a side plan view of the inductor of FIG. 22.

"FIG. 24 shows a top plan view of one coupled inductor including ground return conductors and extend output tongues, according to an embodiment.

"FIG. 25 shows a side plan view of the coupled inductor of FIG. 24 installed on a PCB.

"FIG. 26 is a top perspective view of the coupled inductor of FIGS. 24 and 25.

"FIG. 27 shows a top plan view of one coupled inductor including ground return conductors and extended output tongues, according to an embodiment.

"FIG. 28 shows a side plan view of the coupled inductor of FIG. 27 installed on a PCB.

"FIG. 29 shows a side plan view of one inductor having a low profile installed on a PCB, according to an embodiment.

"FIG. 30 shows a top plan view of the inductor of FIG. 29.

"FIG. 31 shows a top perspective view of the inductor of FIGS. 29 and 30 with isolators removed.

"FIG. 32 shows one PCB footprint for use with the inductor of FIGS. 29-31, according to an embodiment.

"FIG. 33 shows a side plan view of one inductor having a low profile installed on a PCB, according to an embodiment.

"FIG. 34 shows a top plan view of the inductor of FIG. 33.

"FIG. 35 shows a top perspective view of the inductor of FIGS. 33 and 34 with magnetic sections removed.

"FIG. 36 shows a side plan view of one inductor having a low profile installed on a PCB, according to an embodiment.

"FIG. 37 shows a top plan view of the inductor of FIG. 36.

"FIG. 38 shows a top perspective view of the inductor of FIGS. 36 and 37 with magnetic sections removed.

"FIG. 39 shows a side cross-sectional view of a PRIOR ART drop-in inductors installed in a PCB aperture.

"FIG. 40 shows a top plan view of the inductor of FIG. 39 installed in a PCB aperture.

"FIG. 41 shows a top plan view of a plurality of PRIOR ART drop-in inductors installed in respective PCB apertures.

"FIG. 42 shows a side cross-sectional view of one drop-in inductor including ground return conductors installed in a PCB aperture, according to an embodiment.

"FIG. 43 shows a top plan view of the inductor of FIG. 42 installed in a PCB aperture.

"FIG. 44 shows a top perspective view of the inductor of FIGS. 42 and 43.

"FIG. 45 shows a top perspective view of the inductor of FIGS. 42-44 with a magnetic core removed.

"FIG. 46 shows a top perspective view of one drop-in inductor including ground return conductors, according to an embodiment.

"FIG. 47 shows an exploded perspective view of the inductor of FIG. 46 with a magnetic core removed.

"FIG. 48 shows a top perspective view of another embodiment of the inductor of FIGS. 46-47.

"FIG. 49 shows an exploded perspective view of the inductor of FIG. 48 with a magnetic core removed.

"FIG. 50 shows a top perspective view of one drop-in coupled inductor including ground return conductors, according to an embodiment.

"FIG. 51 shows a top perspective view of the inductor of FIG. 50 with a magnetic core removed.

"FIG. 52 shows a top plan view of one PCB assembly including an embodiment of the inductor of FIGS. 50-51.

"FIG. 53 shows a top perspective view of one N-winding coupled inductor including a ground return structure, according to an embodiment.

"FIG. 54 shows a top perspective view of the windings of the inductor of FIG. 53.

"FIG. 55 shows a top perspective view of the ground return structure of the inductor of FIG. 53.

"FIG. 56 shows an embodiment of the inductor of FIG. 53 installed in a PCB.

"FIG. 57 shows an alternate embodiment of the inductor of FIG. 53.

"FIG. 58 shows a top perspective view of one N-winding coupled inductor including a ground return structure, according to an embodiment.

"FIG. 59 shows a top perspective view of one winding of the inductor of FIG. 58.

"FIG. 60 shows an embodiment of the inductor of FIG. 58 installed in a PCB.

"FIG. 61 shows an alternate embodiment of the inductor of FIG. 58.

"FIGS. 62-64 respectively show a perspective, a side plan, and a top plan view of an inductor including two extended tongues, according to an embodiment.

"FIGS. 65-67 respectively show a perspective, a side plan, and a top plan view of an embodiment of the inductor of FIGS. 62-64 including ground return conductors.

"FIG. 68 shows a perspective view of an inductor similar to the inductor FIGS. 65-67, according to an embodiment.

"FIG. 69 shows a perspective view of an inductor similar to the inductor of FIGS. 62-64, according to an embodiment.

"FIG. 70 shows a perspective view of another inductor similar to the inductor of FIGS. 65-67, according to an embodiment."

For additional information on this patent application, see: Ikriannikov, Alexandr. Low Profile Inductors for High Density Circuit Boards. Filed March 17, 2014 and posted July 24, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=3417&p=69&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140717.PD.&OS=PD/20140717&RS=PD/20140717

Keywords for this news article include: Electronics, Circuit Board, Volterra Semiconductor Corporation.

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Source: Electronics Newsweekly


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