US Pat. No. 10,031,003

RELATIVE AND ABSOLUTE PRESSURE SENSOR COMBINED ON CHIP

MELEXIS TECHNOLOGIES NV, ...

1. A method for manufacturing a pressure measurement system in a wafer for measuring an absolute pressure and a relative pressure, the method comprising:a first step wherein a shallow cavity and a deep cavity are etched in a base wafer, such that the depth of the shallow cavity is smaller than the depth of the deep cavity;
a second step wherein a top wafer is applied to the base wafer;
a third step wherein the top wafer is thinned for forming a first membrane over the shallow cavity and for forming a second membrane over the deep cavity, and wherein elements are formed in the top wafer, the elements allowing performing pressure measurements resulting in a first sensor and a second sensor, respectively; and
a fourth step wherein back thinning is applied on the base wafer such that the deep cavity is opened from the backside of the base wafer and that the shallow cavity is still closed by the backside of the base wafer;wherein the system can be used for measuring the absolute pressure using the first sensor and the relative pressure using the second sensor, and wherein the etching of the first step defines the edges of the first membrane and of the second membrane in respectively the sensors formed from the shallow cavity and the deep cavity.

US Pat. No. 9,534,959

INFRARED SENSOR PACKAGE

MELEXIS TECHNOLOGIES NV, ...

1. An integrated infrared sensor device, comprising:
a sensor substrate having a back surface and a front surface opposite the back surface, said back surface having a cavity
defined therein, said front surface having at least one infrared sensing element formed therein or arranged thereon, and

a filter substrate arranged on said back surface of the sensor substrate such that said filter substrate at least partially
covers the cavity, the filter substrate furthermore being adapted in shape and composition to transmit infrared radiation
and to attenuate radiation in at least part of the visible light spectrum, and

a cap for protecting the at least one sensing element, said cap being arranged on the front surface,
the integrated infrared sensor device further comprising at least one solder bump arranged on the front surface of the sensor
substrate for connecting the integrated infrared sensor device to a carrier in a flip-chip arrangement.

US Pat. No. 9,151,677

METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR DEMODULATING SIGNALS

MELEXIS TECHNOLOGIES NV, ...

1. A demodulation sensor for detecting and demodulating a modulated radiation field impinging on a substrate, the sensor comprising:
means for generating, in the substrate, a static majority current assisted drift field;
at least one gate structure for collecting and accumulating minority carriers, the minority carriers being generated in the
substrate by the impinging radiation field, the at least one gate structure comprising at least two regions for the collection
and accumulation of the minority carriers and at least one gate adapted for inducing a lateral electric drift field under
the gate structure, the system thus being adapted for directing the minority carriers towards one of the at least two regions
for the collection and accumulation of the minority carriers under influence of the static majority current assisted drift
field and the lateral electric drift field induced by the gate structure, and

means for reading out the accumulated minority carriers in that region,
wherein the means for generating a static majority current assisted drift field comprises at least two ohmic contacts in the
substrate to generate a majority current assisted drift field.

US Pat. No. 9,106,167

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR DRIVING A SENSORLESS BLDC/PMSM MOTOR

MELEXIS TECHNOLOGIES NV, ...

1. Method for driving a sensorless brushless DC motor or a permanent magnet synchronous motor in a predetermined direction,
the motor comprising at least three stator windings connected in star configuration, and a permanent magnet rotor, the method
comprising:
a) determining a time period as the current time period, and energizing during the current time period two of the windings
and leaving a third winding un-energized for rotating the rotor in a predetermined direction, based on a first motor state
of an energizing sequence, corresponding to a known rotor position;

b) measuring a first voltage representative for the back-EMF generated in the un-energized winding at a first time interval
before expiry of the current time period;

c) applying a commutation at expiry of the current time period so as to energize at least two of the windings while leaving
a third winding un-energized according to a subsequent motor state of the energizing sequence;

d) measuring a second voltage at a second time interval after the commutation, and calculating a subsequent time period based
on at least the current time period and the measured first and second voltage;

e) repeating steps b) and c) after replacing the current time period by the subsequent time period.

US Pat. No. 9,184,330

ETCHING OF INFRARED SENSOR MEMBRANE

MELEXIS TECHNOLOGIES NV, ...

1. An infrared thermal sensor comprising:
a semiconductor substrate having a cavity defined therein, wherein a bottom wall of said cavity is formed by a continuous
surface of the semiconductor substrate,

a membrane disposed in or over said cavity, the membrane being adapted for receiving heat transferred by infrared radiation
incident on said membrane, said membrane comprising a plurality of openings extending through the membrane,

at least one beam for suspending the membrane over the semiconductor substrate, and
at least one thermocouple disposed in or on said at least one beam,
wherein said plurality of openings are adapted for facilitating the passage of an anisotropic etchant for etching the cavity
during manufacture of the infrared thermal sensor,

wherein at the top surface of the membrane, each opening of the plurality of openings has a cross-section with a length to
width ratio of at least four,

wherein the width direction of a first set comprising at least two openings of said plurality of openings is substantially
oriented according to a first crystallographic orientation of the semiconductor substrate, said first crystallographic orientation
corresponding to a direction lying in a loosely packed crystal lattice face of the semiconductor substrate, and

wherein the width direction of a second set of said plurality of openings is substantially oriented along a second crystallographic
orientation of the semiconductor substrate, said first crystallographic orientation and said second crystallographic orientation
corresponding to different directions lying in loosely packed crystal lattice faces of the semiconductor substrate.

US Pat. No. 9,176,170

CURRENT SENSOR

Melexis Technologies NV, ...

1. A current sensor, comprising
a flat housing made of plastic having an underside, an upper side and four side walls, electrical connections and a current
conductor through which the current to be measured flows, and

a semiconductor chip having two magnetic field sensors, wherein the component of the magnetic field detected by the two magnetic
field sensors points in opposite directions at the locations of the two magnetic field sensors, wherein the semiconductor
chip is connected as flipchip to the electrical connections, wherein

the current conductor extends from one side wall to the opposite side wall of the housing, is embedded flat in the underside
of the housing such that a side of the conductor is flush with the underside of the housing and such that the side of the
conductor that is flush with the underside of the housing is exposed to the outside of the housing through the underside of
the housing,

the mutually opposite ends of the current conductor substantially have the same width as the entirety of the electrical contacts
that would have room at a side wall of the housing accommodating an end of the current conductor, and

the opposing surfaces of the semiconductor chip and the current conductor are separated by an electrical insulation layer.

US Pat. No. 9,059,651

DETERMINING ROTOR POSITION IN SENSORLESS SWITCHED RELUCTANCE MOTORS

MELEXIS TECHNOLOGIES NV, ...

1. A device configured to determine the position of a moving rotor in a switched reluctance motor, comprising:
a current sensor that samples a signal representative of the current magnitude in a phase winding of said switched reluctance
motor while a voltage is applied to said phase winding,

a feature detection unit that detects a feature of a second temporal derivative of said signal, and
a processing unit that determines the position of the moving rotor taking into account an occurrence of said feature,
wherein said occurrence of said feature corresponds to an unaligned or an aligned rotor position,
wherein said feature detection unit comprises a zero-crossing detector arranged to detect said feature, said feature being
a zero-crossing event of the second temporal derivative of said signal,

wherein said determining of the position of the moving rotor comprises determining the sign of a third temporal derivative
of said signal when the occurrence of said feature has been detected, wherein a positive sign of the third temporal derivative
of said signal corresponds to an aligned rotor position, wherein said aligned rotor position corresponds to a position of
minimum reluctance of the motor.

US Pat. No. 9,857,247

METHOD AND DEVICE FOR SENSING ISOTROPIC STRESS AND PROVIDING A COMPENSATION FOR THE PIEZO-HALL EFFECT

MELEXIS TECHNOLOGIES NV, ...

1. Method for determining isotropic stress by means of a Hall element which has a plate-shaped area made of a doped semiconductor
material and comprises four contacts contacting the plate-shaped area, the contacts forming corners of a quadrangle, two neighbouring
corners of the quadrangle defining an edge thereof, the method comprising:
determining at least one van der Pauw transresistance value (Rvdp1) in at least one van der Pauw measurement setup of the Hall element, wherein the four contacts of the Hall element form contact
pairs, a contact pair comprising two contacts which are neighbouring corners of the quadrangle, one contact pair being used
for supplying a current (I) and the other contact pair being used for measuring a voltage (Vvdp1), a relationship between the supplied current (I) and the measured voltage (Vvdp1) defining the Van der Pauw transresistance value (Rvdp1);

determining a stress signal (VS) which depends at least on the at least one Van der Pauw transresistance value (Rvdp1); and

determining the isotropic stress by comparing the determined stress signal (Vs) with a predetermined reference stress signal (VSref(T)) which is temperature-dependent.

US Pat. No. 9,543,504

VERTICAL HALL SENSORS WITH REDUCED OFFSET ERROR

MELEXIS TECHNOLOGIES NV, ...

1. A semiconductor chip for measuring a magnetic field based on the Hall effect, the semiconductor chip comprising:
an electrically conductive well having a first conductivity type, in a substrate having a second conductivity type,
at least four well contacts arranged at the surface of the well, and having the first conductivity type,
a plurality of buffer regions interleaved with the well contacts such that at least one of the buffer regions and the electrically
conductive well are located between neighboring well contacts, wherein the buffer regions have the first conductivity type,
and

wherein the buffer regions are highly conductive and wherein the buffer region dimensions are such that at least part of the
current from a well contact to another well contact transits through one of its neighboring buffer regions.

US Pat. No. 9,537,399

DIRECT CURRENT CONTROL WITH LOW E-M EMISSION

MELEXIS TECHNOLOGIES NV, ...

14. A switching control circuit for driving a flow of direct current through an at least partially inductive load, the switching
control circuit comprising:
a first semiconductor switch having a control terminal for receiving a control current, said control current controlling the
resistance of a path between a load terminal, for connecting to said at least partially inductive load, and a supply terminal,
for connecting to a supply voltage source;

a semiconductor freewheeling component coupled between said load terminal and ground;
a controller for adjusting said control current in order to activate or deactivate the flow of current to said load terminal;
wherein said controller comprises a timer element for initiating a timed adjustment of the control current during a cycle
for activation or deactivation of the flow of current through the first semiconductor switch so as to anticipate a state change
of a component of the switching control circuit, the controller being configured to determine a timing for the timed adjustment
in a predictive manner based on a measurement in an earlier cycle for switching the first semiconductor switch, and

wherein the controller further comprises a multiplexer configured to select parameters from a parameter storage element, the
parameters being associated with the current state of the control circuit and providing these parameters to the timer element
and to two or more charge or discharge switches configured to turn on and off each of the at least one semiconductor switch,
the strength of the turn-on and turn-off currents being dependent on the multiplexer output parameters.

US Pat. No. 9,490,730

CONTROL CIRCUIT AND METHOD FOR CONTROLLING A MULTIPHASE MOTOR

MELEXIS TECHNOLOGIES NV, ...

1. A circuit for controlling a multiphase motor, the motor comprising a plurality of windings comprising at least a first
winding and a second winding, the circuit comprising:
for each winding, a low-side transistor and a high-side transistor for allowing the windings to be energized;
for each winding, a low-side diode and a high-side diode for allowing the winding to freewheel from the low-side to the high-side
when said winding is not being energized;

a controller for driving the low-side transistors and the high-side transistors; and
only one or only two current sensors arranged in one of the following configurations:
a single current sensor arranged between supply and each of the high-side transistors, or
a single current sensor arranged between ground and each of the low-side diodes, or
a single current sensor arranged between supply and each of the high-side diodes, or
a single current sensor arranged between ground and each of the low-side transistors, or
a first current sensor arranged between ground and each of the low-side transistors and a second current sensor arranged between
supply and each of the high-side diodes, or

a first current sensor arranged between ground and each of the low-side diodes and a second current sensor arranged between
supply and each of the high-side transistors,

for selectively measuring a first current running through said first winding and a second current running through said second
winding;

wherein the controller is adapted for repeatedly configuring the low-side transistors and the high-side transistors in such
a way that:

during a first time slot only the first winding is energized, while the second winding is freewheeling via a freewheeling
path chosen such that only the first current of the first winding or only the second current of the second winding is flowing
through said single current sensor, or said first current sensor, or said second current sensor;

during a second time slot only the second winding is energized while the first winding is freewheeling via a freewheeling
path chosen such that only the other of the first and second current is flowing through the same current sensor as was used
for measuring the first current; and

wherein the controller is further adapted for measuring one of the first and second current during said first time slot using
said single current sensor, or said first current sensor, or said second current sensor, and for measuring the other of said
first and second current during said second time slot using the same current sensor.

US Pat. No. 9,414,460

METHODS AND SYSTEMS FOR CONTROLLING LEDS

MELEXIS TECHNOLOGIES NV, ...

1. An electronic device, the electronic device comprising:
a plurality of LEDs,
a driving unit for applying a driving algorithm for driving said plurality of LEDs during normal operation, and
a measurement unit comprising an internal current source connectable, one at a time, to each LED of the plurality of LEDs,
the measurement unit being adapted for determining a separate forward voltage of each LED by super-imposing a test current
of said internal current source to each LED, one at a time, during a limited amount of time in order not to disturb normal
operation, the measurement unit being programmed for determining test current characteristics for each LED, taking into account
said driving algorithm.

US Pat. No. 9,310,224

MAGNETIC FIELD ORIENTATION SENSOR AND ANGULAR POSITION SENSOR USING SAME

MELEXIS TECHNOLOGIES NV, ...

1. A magnetic field sensor comprising:
a structure comprising a ring shaped well provided upon a bulk substrate, and comprising a number of inner electrodes arranged
at equidistant angular positions on an inner circle concentric with the well, and the same number of outer electrodes arranged
at equidistant angular positions on an outer circle concentric with the well and radially aligned with the inner electrodes
for forming pairs of biasing electrodes, and the same number of readout electrodes arranged at equidistant angular positions
on an intermediate circle concentric with the well, but angularly shifted with respect to the inner and outer electrodes over
180° divided by said number;

and a biasing-and-readout circuit comprising a plurality of switches for selectively applying a progressive succession of
differently directed bias currents to a pair of biasing electrodes, and for selectively reading a differential Hall voltage
over a progressive succession of two readout electrodes located at an equal distance to the selected outer biasing electrode,
said biasing electrodes and said readout electrodes forming a horizontal Hall element, said differential Hall voltage being
indicative of the relative magnitude of a magnetic field components at the location of said Hall element.

US Pat. No. 9,267,847

INFRARED SENSOR WITH SENSOR TEMPERATURE COMPENSATION

MELEXIS TECHNOLOGIES NV, ...

1. An infrared sensor for temperature sensing comprising
a cap covering a substrate,
an IR-radiation filtering window in the cap, the window being transparent to IR radiation from a source external to the cap,
a first sensing element, comprising a set of N thermocouples on the substrate covered by the cap, whose hot junctions may
receive radiation from a source external to the sensor,

a second sensing element comprising a set of N thermocouples on the substrate covered by the cap whose hot junctions may not
receive radiation from a source external to the sensor,

first connection modules for connecting a number N1 of thermocouples of the first sensing element, second connection modules for connecting a number N2 of thermocouples of the second sensing element, the number N1 and the number N2 being equal or smaller than N, at least one of the numbers N1 or N2 being smaller than N, N1 being different from N2;

connecting means for connecting an output of the first connection modules of the first sensing element with an output of the
second connection modules of the second sensing element, and

an output for outputting the combined outputs of the first and second sensing elements.

US Pat. No. 9,909,924

INFRARED THERMAL SENSOR WITH BEAM WITHOUT THERMOCOUPLE

MELEXIS TECHNOLOGIES NV, ...

1. An infrared thermal sensor for sensing infrared radiation, the infrared thermal sensor comprising
a substrate and a cap structure together forming a sealed cavity;
a membrane arranged in said cavity for receiving infrared radiation (IR) through a window or aperture;
a plurality of beams configured for suspending the membrane comprising at least one beam having a thermocouple arranged therein
or thereon for measuring a temperature difference (?T) between the membrane and the substrate, the plurality of beams furthermore
comprising at least one beam mechanically supporting the membrane without a thermocouple being present therein or thereon.

US Pat. No. 9,461,571

METHOD AND ELECTRONIC CIRCUIT FOR MOTOR STALL DETECTION

MELEXIS TECHNOLOGIES NV, ...

1. A method of detecting stall of a two-phase or three-phase motor operated in a micro-stepped mode, the method comprising:
a) applying a plurality of phase-shifted micro-stepped waveforms to the phase windings of said motor, whereby the phase-shift
is 120° in case of a three-phase motor and 90° in case of a two-phase motor;

b) determining a sum of currents flowing through the phase windings of said motor, and taking samples of said sum of currents
synchronously with the application of said micro-stepped waveforms;

c) calculating a moving average or a moving sum of said samples over a number of samples corresponding to 120° or an even
multiple of 60° of the micro-stepped waveform in case of a three-phase motor and corresponding to 180° or an even multiple
of 90° of the micro-stepped waveform in case of a two-phase motor;

d) calculating an adaptive threshold based on said samples;
e) detecting stall of the motor when the moving average or moving sum is larger than said adaptive threshold.

US Pat. No. 9,529,013

CURRENT SENSOR

Melexis Technologies NV, ...

1. Current sensor, comprising
a housing of plastic,
a current conductor through which a current to be measured is supplied and discharged,
a semiconductor chip having an active surface with at least one magnetic field sensor, which is sensitive to a component of
a magnetic field generated by the current flowing through the current conductor running perpendicularly to the active surface
of the semiconductor chip, wherein

the current conductor has three sections forming a U-shape, namely a first section which comprises integrally shaped first
electrical terminals, a second elongated section with parallel edges, and a third section which comprises integrally shaped
second electrical terminals,

the first and second electrical terminals are arranged at a first side of the housing,
third electrical terminals are arranged at a side of the housing opposite to the first side,
the semiconductor chip is arranged with respect to a longitudinal axis of the second section of the current conductor such
that the semiconductor chip protrudes over the parallel edges of the second section of the current conductor in an approximately
symmetrical manner, a first edge of the semiconductor chip projecting beyond one of the parallel edges of the second section,
and a second edge of the semiconductor chip opposite the first edge projecting beyond the other of the parallel edges of the
second section;

the active surface of the semiconductor chip faces the current conductor,
first bumps are located close to the first edge of the semiconductor chip and second bumps are located close to the second
edge of the semiconductor chip,

the first bumps are located on the third electrical terminals to provide electrical connection to electrical connection surfaces
of the semiconductor chip, and

the second bumps are located on the current conductor or on projections of the current conductor and electrically separated
from the semiconductor chip by an isolation layer.

US Pat. No. 9,479,096

PHASE CURRENT REGULATION IN BLDC MOTORS

MELEXIS TECHNOLOGIES NV, ...

1. A method for determining a phase current direction and a zero-crossing moment of the phase current in a sinusoidally controlled
brushless direct current motor, the brushless direct current motor comprising a coil per phase, wherein the phase of the brushless
direct current motor is driven by a half bridge driver comprising a high side field effect transistor and a low side field
effect transistor, the method comprising the following steps:
measuring the drain source voltage over the high side field effect transistor and low side field effect transistor,
determining the zero crossing moment of the phase current by determining the current direction based on the measured drain
source voltages and by determining the moment the current changes direction.

US Pat. No. 9,689,767

SEMICONDUCTOR PRESSURE SENSOR

MELEXIS TECHNOLOGIES NV, ...

1. A semiconductor pressure sensor for measuring an external pressure exerted on the sensor, comprising:
a membrane as part of a semiconductor substrate for being deformed due to the external pressure, having a membrane edge and
a membrane thickness;

a first bridge circuit comprising a first resistor pair located on or adjacent to a first side portion of the membrane, and
a second resistor pair located on or adjacent to a second side portion of the membrane;

the first resistor pair comprising a first resistor connected between a first bias node and a first output node, and a second
resistor connected between the first output node and a second bias node;

the second resistor pair comprising a third resistor connected between the first bias node and a second output node, and a
fourth resistor connected between the second output node and the second bias node;

at least one of the first and second and third and fourth resistor comprising one or more elongated piezo-resistive strips
arranged for measuring deformation of the membrane due to the external pressure to be measured;

wherein the ratio of a largest distance between a point of the first resistor and a point of the second resistor, and a largest
dimension of the membrane is less than 50%;

and wherein the ratio of a largest distance between a point of the third resistor and a point of the fourth resistor, and
a largest dimension of the membrane is less than 50%,

and
wherein the second side portion is located at substantially 90° angular distance from the first side portion as measured from
a center of the membrane, and the elongated piezo-resistive strips of the first resistor are oriented parallel to the elongated
piezo-resistive strips of the third resistor; or

wherein the second side portion is located at substantially 180° angular distance from the first side portion as measured
from a center of the membrane, and the elongated piezo-resistive strips of the first resistor are oriented orthogonal to the
elongated piezo-resistive strips of the third resistor.

US Pat. No. 9,620,656

SEMICONDUCTOR DEVICE HAVING A TRANSPARENT WINDOW FOR PASSING RADIATION

MELEXIS TECHNOLOGIES NV, ...

1. A packaged optical semiconductor device having a transparent window, comprising:
a substrate comprising a transparent cap layer directly connected to the substrate, and an opto-electric element located in
a cavity formed between the substrate and the transparent cap layer;

the cap layer being made of quartz glass, sapphire glass or silicon, and having at least one protrusion extending on top of
a substantially flat upper surface, the protrusion being integrally formed with the cap layer;

an encapsulating layer made of an opaque material applied to at least the substantially flat portion of the cap layer and
to a side surface of the at least one protrusion, a top surface of the protrusion being substantially flush with an outer
surface of the encapsulating layer.

US Pat. No. 9,722,529

CONTROL FOR PULSE WIDTH MODULATED DRIVEN MOTORS

MELEXIS TECHNOLOGIES NV, ...

1. A method for assisting in operating a PWM driven motor, the method comprising, during at least a certain period in time,
the following steps for at least one phase of the brushless DC motor:
generating, for a given/measured rotor position, a pulse width modulated phase voltage scheme according to a desired phase
profile with a base scaling factor,

by time multiplexing a first pulse and at least one further pulse within a pulse width modulation period of the phase,
the first pulse having a pulse width according to a first phase profile, for that rotor position, multiplied with a first
scaling factor, the first phase profile being in phase with the desired phase profile, and

the at least one further pulse having a pulse width that corresponds with at least one further phase profile, for that rotor
position, multiplied with a further scaling factor, the at least one further phase profile being not in phase with the desired
phase profile,

whereby the first pulse and the at least one further pulse are positioned within the pulse width modulation period of the
phase in at least partially non-overlapping way, and whereby a combination between the multiplication of the first phase profile
and the first scaling factor and the multiplication of the at least one further phase profile and the further scaling factor
corresponds with the multiplication of the desired phase profile with the base scaling factor,

wherein said method furthermore comprises, prior to said generating, determining the first phase profile and the at least
one further phase profile by decomposing the desired phase profile comprising the base scaling factor, into the first phase
profile which is multiplied with the first scaling factor and the at least one further phase profile which is multiplied with
the further scaling factor, whereby the first profile is in phase with the desired phase profile, and whereby the at least
one further profile is not in phase with the desired phase profile,

wherein the method further comprises applying a voltage by a voltage generation unit according to the pulse width modulated
phase voltage scheme.

US Pat. No. 9,509,456

POWER SUPPLY LINE DATA TRANSMISSION

MELEXIS TECHNOLOGIES NV, ...

1. A transmitter for transmitting data over an automotive power supply line, the transmitter comprising:
a local signal port for receiving a serial bit stream,
a power line connection port for transmitting a radio frequency signal over an automotive power supply line, and
a modulator unit for emitting said radio frequency signal, wherein the modulator unit is adapted for encoding said serial
bit stream into a baseband signal and generating the radio frequency signal by mixing said baseband signal with a carrier
wave so as to redundantly convey the baseband signal in at least four spectral sidebands of the carrier wave,

wherein the modulator unit is adapted for shifting the baseband signal conveyed in at least one of said at least four spectral
sidebands over a predetermined time delay relative to the baseband signal conveyed in at least one other of said at least
four spectral sidebands.

US Pat. No. 10,165,639

INTEGRATED LED DEVICE

MELEXIS TECHNOLOGIES NV, ...

1. An integrated-LED device having a housing, said housing comprising:a multi-LED device comprising a transparent substrate and a plurality of light emitting diodes (LEDs) arranged for emitting light and disposed on said transparent substrate,
an integrated circuit in connection with said LEDs and arranged for controlling said LEDs,
a base comprising one or more base extensions, on which at least said multi-LED device is mounted, with said one or more base extensions so arranged or so shaped that a first opening is created to let pass LED light emitted through said transparent substrate by said plurality of LEDs.

US Pat. No. 10,006,822

SEMICONDUCTOR SENSOR ASSEMBLY FOR HARSH MEDIA APPLICATION

MELEXIS TECHNOLOGIES NV, ...

1. A semiconductor sensor assembly for use in a corrosive environment, the sensor assembly comprising:a processing device comprising at least one first bondpad of a material which may be corroded by a corrosive component in the corrosive environment;
a sensor device comprising at least one second bondpad, the second bondpad consisting of and/or being covered by a first corrosion resistant material;
at least one bonding wire for making a signal connection between the at least one first bondpad of the processing device and the at least one second bondpad of the sensor device;
wherein the processing device is partially overmoulded by a second corrosion resistant material, and is partially exposed to a cavity in the corrosion resistant material, the sensor device being present in the cavity; and
wherein a redistribution layer is provided to enable signal connection between the processing device and the sensor device to be physically made in the cavity while the second corrosion resistant material covers the at least one first bondpad.

US Pat. No. 9,973,119

SINGLE PHASE MOTOR DRIVE CIRCUIT AND A METHOD OF DRIVING A SINGLE PHASE MOTOR

MELEXIS TECHNOLOGIES NV, ...

1. A single phase motor drive circuit for driving a single phase motor, the single phase motor drive circuit comprising:a timer unit adapted for receiving a sensor signal indicative of an angular position of a rotor of the single phase motor, and for providing at least one timing signal in phase with the sensor signal;
a waveform generator for generating at least one waveform for energizing the single phase motor, the waveform generator being adapted for receiving the at least one timing signal, and for receiving at least one configurable setting, and for generating the at least one waveform based on the at least one timing signal and based on the at least one configurable setting, the at least one configurable setting being selected from a soft switching setting, a lead angle setting, or an off time setting;
a configuration unit adapted for receiving an input signal indicative of a desired speed of the single phase motor, and adapted for generating the at least one configurable setting as a function of the input signal, and for providing the at least one configurable setting to the waveform generator to dynamically configure the waveform generator as a function of the input signal,
wherein the configuration unit is adapted for setting the at least one configurable setting to a first predefined value or first set of predefined values when a characteristic of the input signal is below a first predefined threshold value,
wherein the configuration unit is adapted for setting the at least one configurable setting to a second predefined value or second set of predefined values when a characteristic of the input signal is above a second predefined threshold value,
wherein the second threshold value is equal to or larger than the first threshold value, and
wherein the input signal is a duty cycle input signal, and wherein the first threshold and the second threshold are values chosen in the range from 10% to 100%.

US Pat. No. 9,850,122

METHOD FOR HERMETICALLY SEALING WITH REDUCED STRESS

MELEXIS TECHNOLOGIES NV, ...

1. An electronic device comprising:
a first substrate having a device area,
a first sealing means for sealing the device area, the first sealing means having an inner side facing the device area and
an outer side facing away from the device area, the first sealing means comprising

a first sealing element being positioned on the first substrate, the first sealing element forming a closed loop surrounding
the device area and comprising an anelastic material,

a second sealing element being a metal, the second sealing element being in contact with the first sealing element along the
closed loop,

a second substrate positioned on the first sealing means so as to sandwich the first sealing means between the first and the
second substrate for hermetically sealing the device area,

wherein the first sealing element and the second sealing element are arranged such that one upright wall of the first sealing
element is covered by the second sealing element such that the inner side or the outer side of the first sealing means is
completely formed by the second sealing element and the other side is substantially formed by the first sealing element.

US Pat. No. 9,791,319

INFRARED THERMAL SENSOR WITH BEAMS HAVING DIFFERENT WIDTHS

MELEXIS TECHNOLOGIES NV, ...

1. An infrared thermal sensor for detecting infrared radiation, the infrared thermal sensor comprising:
a substrate and a cap structure together forming a sealed cavity;
a membrane arranged in said cavity for receiving infrared radiation through a window or aperture;
a plurality of beams for suspending the membrane, each beam of the plurality of beams comprising at least one thermocouple
arranged therein or thereon for measuring a temperature difference between the membrane and the substrate due to the infrared
radiation;

wherein:
the plurality of beams comprises at least two beams having a different length;
and wherein each of the thermocouples in or on the plurality of beams have a substantially same constant width to length ratio;
and wherein each of the beams form a straight connection between a first anchor point on a side of the cavity and a second
anchor point on the membrane;

and wherein the beams are oriented in a non-radial direction with respect to a center of the membrane.

US Pat. No. 9,851,253

INFRARED THERMAL SENSOR WITH GOOD SNR

MELEXIS TECHNOLOGIES NV, ...

1. An infrared thermal sensor for detecting infrared radiation, the infrared thermal sensor comprising:
a substrate and a cap structure together forming a sealed cavity, the cavity comprising a gas composition at a predefined
pressure;

a membrane arranged in said cavity for receiving infrared radiation through a window or aperture;
a plurality of beams for suspending the membrane;
a plurality of thermocouples arranged on said plurality of beams for measuring a temperature difference between the membrane
and the substrate due to incident infrared radiation;

wherein the ratio of the thermal resistance between the membrane and the substrate through the thermocouples, and the thermal
resistance between the membrane and the substrate through the beams and through the gas composition is a value in the range
of 0.8 to 1.2, wherein a numerator of the ratio comprises the thermal resistance between the membrane and the substrate through
the plurality of thermocouples, and a denominator of the ratio comprises the thermal resistance between the membrane and the
substrate through the plurality of beams and through the gas composition.

US Pat. No. 10,096,724

RADIATION DETECTOR COMPRISING A COMPENSATING SENSOR

MELEXIS TECHNOLOGIES NV, ...

1. A chip for radiation measurements, the chip comprisinga first substrate comprising at least a first sensor and a second sensor,
a second substrate comprising at least a first cavity and a second cavity both with oblique walls,
wherein an internal layer is present on the inside of the second cavity, the internal layer being configured to attenuate incoming radiation by more than 10 dB before it reaches the second sensor, and
wherein the second substrate is sealed to the first substrate with the cavities on the inside such that the first cavity is above the first sensor and the second cavity is above the second sensor.

US Pat. No. 10,066,967

POSITION DETECTION OF A 1-COIL OR 2-COIL MOTOR

MELEXIS TECHNOLOGIES NV, ...

1. A method of determining an initial position of a single-phase DC motor, or of a two-phase DC motor without parallel wound coils, the motor having a stator comprising magnetic material and at least one but less than three coils, and a rotor movably mounted with respect to the stator, the method comprising the steps:a) applying at least one first probe pulse to the at least one coil thereby generating a first response pulse having a first direction or a first polarity, and measuring an effect of the at least one first probe pulse;
b) applying at least one second probe pulse to the at least one coil thereby generating a second response pulse having a second direction or second polarity, and measuring an effect of the at least one second probe pulse; wherein the at least one first probe pulse and the at least one second probe pulse have a shape and size sufficiently small for not moving the rotor relative to the stator, and have a shape and size sufficiently large so as to cause at least partial saturation of the magnetic stator material;
c) determining an initial position of the rotor with respect to the stator by comparing the measured effect of the at least one first probe pulse and the measured effect of the at least one second probe pulse.

US Pat. No. 10,020,294

DEVICE WITH LIGHT EMITTING DIODES

MELEXIS TECHNOLOGIES NV, ...

1. A multi-LED device comprisinga transparent substrate,
a plurality of light emitting diodes, LEDs, arranged for emitting light of a plurality of colours and disposed on said transparent substrate,
an integrated control circuit in connection with said LEDs and comprising a plurality of photo sensors optically connected to said LEDs, each photo sensor being provided with a colour filter, said integrated circuit arranged for receiving via said plurality of photo sensors information on a light intensity of said plurality of colours of said LEDs and for regulating said light intensity of said colours of said LEDs based on said information on the light intensity,
wherein said transparent substrate with said plurality of LEDs is flip-chip mounted on said integrated control circuit.

US Pat. No. 9,989,405

INFRARED SENSING DEVICES AND METHODS

MELEXIS TECHNOLOGIES NV, ...

1. An infrared sensor assembly for sensing infrared radiation from an object, the infrared sensor assembly comprising:a sensor array comprising a plurality of sensing elements, provided on or embedded in a substrate extending in a substrate plane, wherein the sensor array comprises:
at least two infrared sensing elements, each infrared sensing element having a radiation responsive element providing a proportionate electrical signal in response to infrared radiation incident thereto;
at least two blind sensing elements, at least one of said two blind sensing elements being interspersed among the at least two sensing elements, each of said two blind sensing elements being shielded from incident infrared radiation of the object and providing a proportionate electrical signal in response to parasitic thermal fluxes,
wherein an output of the sensor array is a subtractive function of a sum of the signals of the plurality of infrared sensing elements and a sum of the signals of the plurality of blind sensing elements such that at least linear and/or non-linear parasitic thermal fluxes are at least partly compensated for.

US Pat. No. 9,906,175

METHOD OF STARTING A THREE-PHASE BLDC MOTOR AND MOTOR DRIVER USING SAME

MELEXIS TECHNOLOGIES NV, ...

1. A method of starting a three-phase BLDC motor comprising a stator with three phase windings and a rotor with a permanent
magnet, and a current sensor adapted to measure a phase current in at least two of the three phase windings, the method comprising:
a) determining an initial angular position of the permanent magnet;
b) applying a first set of sinusoidal energizing signals to the three phase windings for causing first stator currents to
flow in the three phase windings thereby generating a first magnetic field oriented in a first direction different from an
initial direction of the magnetic field of the permanent magnet, the first set of energizing signals corresponding to a set
of values of three sinusoidal waveforms shifted apart by 120° and 240° sampled at a first angle;

and maintaining the first set of energizing signals for allowing the rotor to move to a first angular position different from
the initial angular position, the rotor movement causing BEMF voltages to be induced and corresponding rotor currents to flow
in the three phase windings;

c) while maintaining the first set of sinusoidal energizing signals, monitoring two of the three-phase BLDC motor phase currents
flowing through two of the three phase windings using the current sensor, and determining whether a predefined condition is
satisfied,

the predefined condition comprising testing whether a ratio of said two phase current values is substantially equal to a predefined
value,

and if the outcome of the test is true, to apply a commutation by repeating steps b) and c) at least once, but instead of
applying the first set of sinusoidal energizing signals, applying a second respectively further set of sinusoidal energizing
signals; different from a set of sinusoidal energizing signals applied in a previous iteration to thereby move the rotor to
a second respectively further angular position;

wherein the first, second and any further angles are selected from a limited group of discrete angular positions.

US Pat. No. 9,989,409

IR SENSOR FOR IR SENSING BASED ON POWER CONTROL

MELEXIS TECHNOLOGIES NV, ...

1. A semiconductor device for measuring IR radiation originating from outside the device, comprising:a semiconductor substrate with a cap hermetically sealed to said substrate to enclose a cavity at sub-atmospheric pressure;
at least one sensor pixel arranged in the cavity, and comprising a first absorber arranged for receiving said IR radiation, and a first heater for increasing a temperature of the first absorber when a first power is applied to the first heater, and a first temperature sensor that measures the first temperature of the first absorber;
at least one reference pixel arranged in the cavity, and comprising a second absorber shielded from said IR radiation, and a second heater for increasing a temperature of the second absorber when a second power is applied to the second heater, and a second temperature sensor that measures the second temperature of the second absorber;
a control circuit that measures the first temperature and the second temperature and that generates and applies the first power to the first heater and that generates and applies the second power to the second heater in such a way that
the first temperature is equal to the second temperature, or
the difference between the first temperature and the second temperature is less than 0.05° C.;
an output circuit for generating an output signal indicative of the IR radiation, based on a difference between the second power and the first power.

US Pat. No. 10,178,331

METHOD FOR IMAGE NOISE REDUCTION AND IMAGE DEVICE

MELEXIS TECHNOLOGIES NV, ...

1. A method for noise reduction in an imaging device comprising a 4T pixel in operation, said 4T pixel comprising a pinned photodiode and a floating diffusion node, said 4T pixel being fed from a supply source, said photodiode having a potential well capacity lower than the potential well capacity of said floating diffusion node so that, once said photodiode potential well is full, photo-electrons can leak from said photodiode potential well into said potential well of said floating diffusion node, said photodiode potential well and said potential well of said floating diffusion node being separated by a transfer gate potential barrier, the method comprising:detecting a signal impinging on said 4T pixel of said imaging device and integrating the charge of said detected signal in said photodiode potential well;
integrating, once said photodiode potential well is full, leaking charge in said potential well of said floating diffusion node, whereby said floating diffusion node has charge leakage into said supply source, so that, while integrating said charge a non-linear relation exists between said leaking charge in said potential well of said floating diffusion node and the total amount of charge flowing into said potential well of said floating diffusion node;
deriving a linear signal proportional to said detected signal from said charge in said photodiode potential well;
deriving a compressed signal from said charge in said potential well of said floating diffusion node, while keeping said compressed signal separate from said linear signal, said compressed signal being a non-linear function of said detected signal; and
summing said linear signal and a linearized version of said compressed signal and performing a non-linear conversion on the summation signal to fit said imaging device's output range.

US Pat. No. 10,171,018

METHOD AND ELECTRONIC CIRCUIT FOR STALL DETECTION

MELEXIS TECHNOLOGIES NV, ...

1. A method for detecting stall of a multiphase motor operated in a sinusoidal micro-stepped mode, the method comprising:measuring a phase current and/or measuring a sum of all phase currents at regular time intervals synchronous with the micro-steps,
calculating the difference between the measured phase current at a first moment and the measured phase current of the same phase at a previous synchronous moment and/or the difference between the measured sum of all phase currents at a first moment and the measured current of the corresponding phase and/or of the measured sum of all phase currents at a previous synchronous moment,
analyzing the series of obtained current differences so as to generate a stall detection signal,
wherein analyzing the series of obtained current differences comprises comparing the obtained current differences with a threshold value and generating a stall detection signal when the threshold value has been crossed at least a predefined number of times during a predefined period of time.

US Pat. No. 10,107,898

SEMICONDUCTOR PIXEL UNIT FOR SENSING NEAR-INFRARED LIGHT, OPTIONALLY SIMULTANEOUSLY WITH VISIBLE LIGHT, AND A SEMICONDUCTOR SENSOR COMPRISING SAME

MELEXIS TECHNOLOGIES NV, ...

1. A semiconductor pixel unit comprising:a single semiconductor substrate comprising a first semiconductor region and a second semiconductor region, the second semiconductor region being entirely electrically separated from the first semiconductor region by means of an insulating region, the first semiconductor region being configured to detect visible light; and
a doping profile configured to generate a lateral electrical field in a region underneath the first semiconductor region, the electrical field being adapted for promoting transport of photoelectrons in the second semiconductor region generated by the near-infrared light after passing through the first semiconductor region and through the insulating region;
the second semiconductor region comprising at least one near-infrared light detector located at the surface of the semiconductor substrate for detecting the photoelectrons generated in the second semiconductor region by the near-infrared light,
wherein the insulating region between the first semiconductor region and the second semiconductor region comprises a buried oxide layer.

US Pat. No. 10,368,423

BUS PROTOCOL FOR DYNAMIC LIGHTING APPLICATION

MELEXIS TECHNOLOGIES NV, ...

1. A method of operating a plurality of driving units for powering electronic units, the method comprising interchanging a data frame including a bit sequence, between a master control unit and at least one of a plurality of driving units at slave nodes, the sequence being divided in fields of consecutive bit strings including a first bit string, the method comprising:applying an ID field for addressing at least one driving unit, for interchanging data between the master control unit and the at least one addressed driving unit,
applying a data field comprising information and/or instructions regarding the status of the electronic units,
wherein applying the ID field further comprises:
indicating the driving unit address using a first bit sub-string comprising N bits, where 2 N is equal or higher than the number of driving units in the plurality of driving units, for applying the data field on the addressed driving unit or ignoring the data field if the driving unit is not addressed;
using a receive/transmit command bit for assigning values,
allowing the master control unit to identify whether data should be received from or transmitted to driving units,
or
allowing each addressed driving unit to decode which action is required by the master control unit,
depending on the value assigned to the receive/transmit command bit;
using a further function bit including information in the ID field regarding the type of instructions included in the data field;
depending on the value assigned to the function bit, assigning data bits in a second bit sub-string to different electronic units or performing a length decoding step for indicating the length of the first bit string in the data field using the second bit sub-string.

US Pat. No. 10,308,502

SEMICONDUCTOR PRESSURE SENSOR FOR HARSH MEDIA APPLICATION

MELEXIS TECHNOLOGIES NV, ...

1. A semiconductor pressure sensor assembly suitable for use under an exhaust gas environment of an automobile engine for measuring a pressure of the exhaust gas which contains corrosive components, the pressure sensor assembly comprising:a first cavity comprising an opening for allowing exposure to said exhaust gas;
a pressure sensor arranged in said cavity, the pressure sensor comprising a plurality of first bondpads made of or covered by a first corrosion resistant material;
a CMOS chip mounted on a first substrate, the CMOS chip comprising a plurality of first bondpads without corrosion resistant material on top;
an interconnection module comprising a second substrate and a plurality of electrically conductive paths made of a second corrosion resistant material, each of the conductive paths having a first bondpad and a second bondpad;
the first bondpads of the pressure sensor being connected via first bonding wires to the first bondpads of the interconnection module, the first bonding wires being made of a third corrosion resistant material;
the first bondpads of the CMOS chip being connected via second bonding wires to the second bondpads of the interconnection module;
wherein
the electrically conductive paths of the interconnection module provide electrical connection between the pressure sensor and the CMOS chip,
the CMOS chip, the first bondpads of the CMOS chip, the second bondpads of the interconnection module, and the second bonding wires, and part of the interconnection module are protected from exposure to said exhaust gas by encapsulation with a corrosion resistant plastic material, and
the first bondpads of the interconnection module are not protected from said exposure to said exhaust gas by encapsulation with said corrosion resistant plastic material.

US Pat. No. 10,345,394

HALL SENSOR READOUT SYSTEM WITH OFFSET DETERMINATION USING THE HALL ELEMENT ITSELF

MELEXIS TECHNOLOGIES NV, ...

1. A method for offset determination in a Hall sensor for measuring a magnetic field,the Hall sensor comprising: at least one Hall element having a plate-shaped sensor element made of a doped semiconductor material,
the method comprising:
i) obtaining a first readout signal (VH) from the at least one Hall element by using a first technique which makes use of measurements on the Hall element and yields a result that is substantially dependent on the magnetic field to be measured including an offset (VO) to be determined,
ii) obtaining a second readout signal (VP) from the at least one Hall element by using a second technique which makes use of measurements on the Hall element and yields a result that is substantially independent of the magnetic field but is correlated to said offset (VO),
wherein obtaining the second readout signal comprises making linear combinations of readout signals with at least two Hall-type measurements, so that the magnetic field component is cancelled out or comprises at least one Van der Pauw type measurement, and
wherein the second readout signal is measured, during operation, in the presence of the magnetic field, and
iii) using the second readout signal (VP) for obtaining a prediction (VO) of the offset (VO) on the first readout signal (VH) as a linear function of the second readout signal (VP), expressed as VO=a+b VP, a and b being parameters in the linear function, wherein the parameters a and b are optimized by means of a calibration procedure that includes
bringing the Hall sensor in a reference state,
bringing the Hall sensor in an environment with a known magnetic field and at a known temperature (T) selected from a first set of temperatures, and
recording, for each temperature (T) of the first set of temperatures, the first readout signal obtained by using the first technique, to obtain a first reference curve (VOref(T)), and the second readout signal obtained by using the second technique to obtain a second reference curve (VPref(T)).

US Pat. No. 10,250,274

SAMPLE AND HOLD DEVICE

MELEXIS TECHNOLOGIES NV, ...

1. A sample and hold system, for capturing and reading a trace of at least one input signal,the sample and hold system comprising a readout device, a controller, an array of segments, each segment comprising a plurality of unit cells and a dummy unit cell, and access switches for controlling the access to the unit cells and the dummy unit cells, wherein at least part or all of the access switches are segment switches which are present between the segments and the readout device,
wherein the controller is adapted for controlling the sample and hold system,
such that during an acquisition phase a trace of samples is taken from the input signal and held in the unit cells and such that during a readout phase the samples held in the unit cells or in the dummy unit cells are read out by the readout device,
wherein the controller is adapted for controlling the sample and hold system,
such that the dummy unit cells are sampled in a period when there is no input signal,
and such that after configuring the segment switches to connect a segment to the reading device, the dummy unit cell, is the first cell which is read out by the readout device resulting in a readout value wherein the sample and hold system is adapted for ignoring the readout value of the dummy unit cells during further processing.

US Pat. No. 10,269,667

SEMICONDUCTOR DEVICE PACKAGING WITH REDUCED SIZE AND DELAMINATION

MELEXIS TECHNOLOGIES NV, ...

1. A packaged semiconductor device comprisinga stack comprising
a die comprising a sensor circuit,
a cap having a top surface and a bottom surface, the cap being attached with its bottom surface to the die for protecting the sensor circuit, and being transparent to a certain range of wavelengths,
a mold component for overmolding the stack except for an access window, wherein at least the cap comprises at least one groove in an upstanding wall the at least one groove being remote from both the top surface of the cap and the bottom surface of the cap, the at least one groove having slanted surfaces and being at least partially in contact with the mold component, for increasing adhesion of the mold component to the stack.

US Pat. No. 10,217,874

SEMICONDUCTOR DEVICE HAVING A TRANSPARENT WINDOW FOR PASSING RADIATION

MELEXIS TECHNOLOGIES NV, ...

1. A method of manufacturing a packaged semiconductor device with a transparent window, comprising the steps of:a) providing a semiconductor structure comprising an opto-electric element located in a cavity formed between a substrate and a cap layer, the cap layer being made of quartz glass, sapphire glass or silicon, and having a substantially flat upper surface;
b) forming at least one protrusion extending on top of the cap layer;
c) bringing the at least one protrusion on top of the cap layer in contact with a tool having a substantially flat surface region, and applying an opaque material to the semiconductor structure at a portion thereof which is not in contact with the tool;
d) removing the tool thereby providing a packaged optical semiconductor device having a transparent window.

US Pat. No. 10,345,154

INFRARED SENSING DEVICES AND METHODS

MELEXIS TECHNOLOGIES NV, ...

1. An infrared sensor assembly for sensing infrared radiation from an object, the infrared sensor assembly comprising:a sensor array comprising a plurality of sensing elements, provided on or embedded in a substrate extending in a substrate plane, wherein the sensor array comprises:
at least two infrared sensing elements, each infrared sensing element having a radiation responsive element providing a proportionate electrical signal in response to infrared radiation incident thereto; and responsive to parasitic thermal fluxes,
at least two infrared sensing compensation elements, at least one of said infrared sensing compensation elements being interspersed among the at least two infrared sensing elements, each of said two infrared sensing compensation elements having a radiation responsive element providing a proportionate electrical signal in response to infrared radiation incident thereto and responsive to parasitic thermal fluxes, and
the infrared sensing elements and the infrared sensing compensation elements being different so that, for a same flux on the infrared sensing elements and the infrared sensing compensation elements, the radiation responsive element of the infrared sensing elements absorbs more radiation than the radiation responsive element of the infrared sensing compensation elements, as to receive substantially more radiation than the radiation responsive element of the infrared sensing compensation elements,
wherein an output of the sensor array is a subtractive function of a sum of the signals of the plurality of infrared sensing elements and a sum of the signals of the plurality of the infrared sensing compensation elements such that at least linear and/or non-linear parasitic thermal fluxes are at least partly compensated for.

US Pat. No. 10,326,583

LOW-POWER DATA BUS RECEIVER

MELEXIS TECHNOLOGIES NV, ...

1. A receiver circuit for receiving an incoming bit stream obtained from an electronic communication bus-system and for processing said incoming bit stream, the receiver circuit comprising:a bit stream processor for bit stream synchronization and bit sampling of said incoming bit stream to provide a sampled output signal,
a frame decoder for decoding a data frame encoded in said sampled output signal,
a clock signal generator for generating a first clock signal and for supplying said first clock signal to said bit stream processor such that said bit stream processor operates at the frequency of the first clock signal,
a clock signal downsampler for generating a second clock signal having a lower frequency than the first clock signal, said second clock signal being generated based on a co-occurrence of a clock pulse in the first clock signal and the emission of a bit in the sampled output signal provided by the bit stream processor, and for providing said second clock signal to said frame decoder, such that said frame decoder operates at the frequency of said second clock signal,
wherein said bit stream processor is adapted for synchronizing the first clock signal to an external protocol timing of said incoming bit stream.

US Pat. No. 10,309,801

ARRANGEMENT, METHOD AND SENSOR FOR MEASURING AN ABSOLUTE ANGULAR POSITION USING A MULTI-POLE MAGNET

MELEXIS TECHNOLOGIES NV, ...

1. A system for measuring an angular position of a rotor with respect to a stator, the system comprising:the rotor rotatable around a rotation axis;
the stator having a fixed position with respect to the rotation axis;
a magnetic source mounted on the rotor for creating a magnetic field, the magnetic source being a multi-pole magnet having a number of magnetic poles for generating a periodically repetitive magnetic field pattern with respect to the rotation axis, the number of magnetic poles being at least four;
a sensor mounted on the stator and comprising a plurality of sensor elements for measuring at least one magnetic field component of the magnetic field and for providing a measurement signal indicative of the at least one magnetic field component, the number of sensor elements being twice the number of magnetic poles of the multi-pole magnet, the sensor being located centered around the rotation axis and being located in a plane perpendicular to the rotation axis at a first distance from the magnetic source;
the sensor elements being located on a circle at a second distance from the rotation axis, and being oriented for detecting the at least one magnetic field component;
the plurality of sensor elements being partitioned in at least a first group and a second group and a third group and a fourth group, the elements within each group being located at equidistant angular positions on the circle,
the angular distance between an element of the first group and an element of the second group being equal to 180° divided by the number of magnetic poles of the magnetic source,
the angular distance between an element of the third group and an element of the first group being equal to 360° divided by the number of magnet poles of the magnetic source, and
the angular distance between an element of the fourth group and an element of the first group being equal to 540° divided by the number of magnet poles of the magnetic source;
a calculator that determines the angular position of the rotor from the provided signals, the calculator being adapted to
calculate a first sum or first average of the signals provided by the sensor elements of the first group, and
calculate a second sum or second average of the signals provided by the sensor elements of the second group, and
calculate a third sum or third average of the signals provided by the elements of the third group, and
calculate a fourth sum or fourth average of the signals provided by the elements of the fourth group, and
determine the angular position of the rotor based on one or more values selected from the group consisting of the first sum, first average, the second sum and the second average, the third sum, the third average, the fourth sum and the fourth average.

US Pat. No. 10,262,897

BOND PAD PROTECTION FOR HARSH MEDIA APPLICATIONS

MELEXIS TECHNOLOGIES NV, ...

1. A method for fabricating a semiconductor device for use in harsh media, the method comprising:providing a semiconductor die comprising a metal contact region;
covering said semiconductor die by at least one passivation layer and patterning the at least one passivation layer such as to form an opening to expose the metal contact region of the semiconductor die;
forming a contact layer comprising a refractory metal on said exposed metal contact region, in which said contact layer comprises at least an adhesion layer and at least a diffusion barrier layer;
patterning said contact layer such as to define a continuous part of the contact layer over the exposed metal contact region by exposing the at least one passivation layer around the entire edge of the continuous part, in which said continuous part of said contact layer overlaps and completely covers said opening in the at least one passivation layer; and
providing a noble metal layer over said contact layer such as to completely cover said continuous part of the contact layer, wherein said noble metal layer furthermore extends over said edge of said continuous part of the contact layer such as to adhere to said exposed at least one passivation layer around the edge of the continuous part;
wherein said providing of said noble metal layer comprises sputtering said noble metal on said continuous part of the contact layer and on the exposed at least one passivation layer around the edge of the continuous part such as to establish a mechanical connection by atomic bonding between the sputtered noble metal and the contact layer and between the sputtered noble metal and the at least one passivation layer; and
wherein sputtering said noble metal comprises sputtering a noble metal seed layer for electroplating on said continuous part of the contact layer and on the exposed at least one passivation layer around the edge of the continuous part, and wherein providing said noble metal layer further comprises electroplating said noble metal onto the noble metal seed layer.

US Pat. No. 10,337,926

LOW-DRIFT INFRARED DETECTOR

MELEXIS TECHNOLOGIES NV, ...

1. A semiconductor device for measuring IR radiation originating from outside the semiconductor device, comprising:a semiconductor substrate with a cap hermetically sealed to said substrate to enclose at least one cavity,
at least one sensor pixel arranged in the cavity, comprising a first absorber arranged for receiving said IR radiation, and adapted for generating a sensor output signal indicative of the incoming IR radiation,
at least one reference pixel arranged in the cavity, comprising a second absorber, and a heater for increasing the temperature of the second absorber by applying a power to that heater, wherein the reference pixel is shielded from said IR radiation, and adapted for generating a reference output signal indicative of the applied power to the heater,
wherein the semiconductor device comprises a controller adapted for:
measuring a responsivity of the semiconductor device by:
applying a power to the heater of the reference pixel, while not heating the sensor pixel,
measuring a first output signal of the unheated sensor pixel or of an unheated additional reference pixel and a first reference output signal of the heated reference pixel,
obtaining the responsivity as a function of a measure of the applied power to the heater and of the difference between the first output signal and the first reference output signal,
applying a period of cooling down of the reference pixel until the temperature of the reference pixel is substantially the same as the temperature of the sensor pixel,
generating the output signal indicative of the IR radiation, based on the difference between the sensor output signal of the sensor pixel and the reference output signal of the reference pixel measured when the temperature of the sensor pixel is substantially equal to the temperature of the reference pixel, by converting this difference into the output signal which is indicative of the IR radiation using the measured responsivity.

US Pat. No. 10,317,297

SEMICONDUCTOR PRESSURE SENSOR

MELEXIS TECHNOLOGIES NV, ...

1. A semiconductor pressure sensor for determining an external pressure exerted on the sensor, comprising:a membrane as part of a semiconductor substrate for being deformed due to the external pressure, having a membrane edge and a membrane thickness;
a first resistor pair located on or adjacent to a first side portion of the membrane, the first resistor pair comprising a first resistor connected between a first bias node and a first output node, and a second resistor connected between said first bias node and a second output node different from the first output node, a resistance of the second resistor being equal to a resistance of the first resistor;
a first current source connected or connectable to the first output node and adapted for causing a first predefined current to flow through the first resistor so that the first output node assumes a first output voltage;
a second current source connected or connectable to the second output node and adapted for causing a second predefined current to flow through the second resistor so that the second output node assumes a second output voltage, wherein the second predefined current is substantially equal to the first predefined current;
the first resistor comprising one or more first elongated piezo-resistive strips arranged in a first direction for measuring deformation of the membrane due to the external pressure to be measured, the second resistor comprising one or more second elongated piezo-resistive strips arranged in a second direction for measuring deformation of the membrane due to the external pressure to be measured, wherein the second direction is substantially perpendicular to the first direction;
the first and second output voltage forming a first differential voltage signal indicative of the external pressure to be measured;
wherein the first and the second elongated piezo-resistive strips are formed as p doped regions within an n-well; and
wherein the first bias node is electrically connected to the n-well.

US Pat. No. 10,459,863

TRANSCEIVER CIRCUIT FOR A CONTROLLER AREA NETWORK WITH IMPROVED SAFETY

Melexis Technologies NV, ...

1. A CAN-node comprising:a transceiver circuit for communicating data over a CAN bus, the CAN-bus having at least a first and a second bus line, the circuit comprising:
a data input port for receiving a signal to be transmitted over the CAN-bus;
a data output port for providing a signal received from the CAN-bus;
a CAN-bus transceiver unit having a receive data output port for providing data received from the CAN-bus, and a transmit data input port for receiving data to be transmitted to the CAN-bus;
a control input port adapted for receiving a control signal indicative of whether transmission of data from this transceiver circuit to the CAN-bus is allowed or prohibited;
a filter circuit adapted for filtering the control signal received on the control input port and for providing a filtered control signal;
logic circuitry adapted for configuring the CAN-bus transceiver unit in receive mode based on the filtered control signal, asynchronous with respect to communication on the CAN-bus, thereby preventing the circuit from transmitting data to the CAN-bus; and
a controller adapted for generating data, and having an input port connected to the data output port of the transceiver circuit for receiving data from the CAN-bus, and having an output port connected to the data input port of the transceiver circuit for transmitting the generated data to the CAN-bus;
wherein the controller comprises:
a state machine for generating said data to be transmitted via said output port and for processing data received via said input port; and
a monitoring unit for monitoring the data transmitted by the state machine, and for providing a control signal for selectively allowing or preventing the generated data to be transmitted to the CAN-bus.