Dr. Winton Awarded Patent

Dr. Winton

Piper & Rudnick, patent attorneys for MSU, have notified the Mississippi State University Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC) and the ECE department that a patent under the name "MOS charge pump" has been issued to ECE professor Raymond S. Winton by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The patent number is 7,157,961 with an issue date of January 2, 2007.

Disclosure was submitted February 4, 2004. The patent was filed February 4, 2005. The patent was allowed Sept 7, 2006 without requirement for further office action by the patent examiner.

The patent is for a very simple MOS circuit topology that has implications for RFID and for RF medical diagnostics and has been valued at the $109 level by industry experts. The ECE department is eligible for 30% royalty share since Dr. Winton was not affiliated with any research center at the time of disclosure.

The patent is for an MOS topology configured as a series of voltage multiplication stages. Each stage consists of two MOS transistors operating in the 'transcapacitance' mode rather than in the transistor mode. The topology is an energy converter that takes a radio-frequency (RF) pickup signal and converts it into a storage level suitable for the power supply of a low-power integrated circuit by using the bipolar input signal to charge pump the transcapacitances. Because of the device physics, the topology is able to operate at the 915MHz level, which is the operative frequency for passive RFID, implicated as the next-generation bar code. The supply chain management environment requires bar coding on the order of 1012/yr.

Dr. Winton is affiliated with Innurvation, Inc, of Columbia, MD, and Quuercus, LLC, of Annapolis Maryland in the development of RF medical diagnostics. Innurvation is a start-up spun off from Symbol Technology, Inc. Symbol Technology purchased Matrics, Inc, in Jul 2004 for $230M, and Matrics was the company that developed most of the present passive RFID technology. Symbol Technology has subsequently been bought (Sept 2006) by Motorola, Inc. for $3.9B. The partners who formed Innurvation are the same ones who formed Matrics.

This patent is the first of two similar patent disclosures on MOS charge-pump topologies filed by Dr. Winton, one using a 4-terminal version of the MOS transcapacitance and the other using a 3-terminal version.