FormFactor has filed a patent for an improved serial communication system that uses pulse width modulation (PWM) to encode data. Each node in the system regenerates and transmits the data to other nodes, with a synchronization feature at the start of each pulse shape. The patent also emphasizes the importance of a regeneration delay in each node that is shorter than the system clock period. GlobalData’s report on FormFactor gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

According to GlobalData’s company profile on FormFactor, Under-screen biometric identification was a key innovation area identified from patents. FormFactor's grant share as of September 2023 was 56%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Improved serial communication system using pulse width modulation

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: FormFactor Inc

A recently filed patent (Publication Number: US20230269118A1) describes an apparatus that includes two or more nodes connected by two or more serial data links. The digital data transmitted on these links is encoded using pulse width modulation. Each node is designed to regenerate received data and transmit it to one or more of the other nodes.

One of the key features of this apparatus is that the regeneration delay of at least one of the nodes is less than a clock period. This ensures efficient and timely data transmission within the system.

The patent also mentions that this apparatus can be used in an embedded system, expanding its potential applications beyond a standalone device.

The pulse width modulation used in this apparatus is specifically binary pulse width modulation. This modulation technique allows for efficient encoding and decoding of digital data.

To ensure synchronization between the nodes, every pulse shape of the pulse width modulation starts with a synchronization feature. Each node includes a local clock and synchronizes it to this synchronization feature. This synchronization ensures accurate and reliable data transmission between the nodes.

The serial data links used in this apparatus are single-wire, half-duplex links. This design choice simplifies the wiring and reduces the complexity of the system.

The format of the digital data transmitted includes address bits that precede the data bits. Additionally, there is an option to include control bits that precede the address bits or follow the address bits. This flexibility allows for customization of the data format based on specific application requirements.

Overall, this patent describes an apparatus that enables efficient and synchronized data transmission between multiple nodes using pulse width modulation. The design choices, such as the regeneration delay, synchronization feature, and data format flexibility, contribute to the effectiveness and versatility of this apparatus.

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GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.