Introducing Silicon Labs’ Intellectual Property Program

PatentsProgram1-KellySuber-NestorHo-RobKing

Kelly, Nestor, Rob in the Legal department at Silicon Labs

What happens if you have a great idea and work for a large company? Will the idea vaporize, or will it make it into a real product?

At Silicon Labs we have a long history of designing unique products that change the market place. The creative engineering trio that founded Silicon Labs in 1996 established this mentality with several breakthrough patents. As a result, Silicon Labs’ work environment makes it possible for every engineer to contribute great ideas, make a difference and get recognized. We go so far that we expect everyone to have patents submitted.

In addition to the professional recognition of obtaining a patent, Silicon Labs as a company recognizes its patent submitters in multiple ways. Your role in the company is therefore influenced by the technical contributions and number of patents you have filed. An annual patent banquet is held in connection with Silicon Labs’ Technical Symposium Conference, the premier technical event for our engineers every year. This is where our engineer stars shine, and patent awards like the prestigious ‘Patent of the Year’ is announced.

As you can see, Silicon Labs depends on our team of highly innovative engineers, where everybody can make a difference. From day one when you start working for Silicon Labs, you play an important role in shaping the future of the company, but most importantly your ideas can radically shape the market Silicon Labs play in.

On the blog going forward we will show you some of the patents that have been filed, and how they are used in products that you as a designer can benefit from in your daily work.

– Rob King, Corporate IP Counsel

Highlighted patent

: Method and Apparatus for Controlling A Harmonic Mixer (Aslam, Alessandro; U.S. Patent 8,543,077 issued on September 24, 2013)

This U.S. patent provides fundamental patent coverage for the receiver circuitry used in all of Silicon Labs T.V. tuner products for which Silicon Labs is the worldwide market leader.

Implementation

A block diagram of an implementation of a mixer in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention 

Flow block diagram

A flow diagram of a method in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention

The patent relates to a circuit known as a mixer which mixes a received RF signal with a master clock to form a mixed signal. The purpose of the mixer is to downcovert the frequency of the received signal. The mixed signal is cyclically rotated to each of a predetermined number of gain stages and then summed to provide an output signal. Previous generations of receivers were susceptible to interferers around the harmonic frequencies of an oscillator signal. While the invention is providing market protection for Silicon Labs’ line of TV receiver chips, it is not limited to TV products and is applicable to RF receiver used in a variety of product applications. The patent issuing in 2013 is a continuation filing resulting in several patents dating back to an original filing last decade.

Check out Silicon Labs’ latest TV tuner products

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