Reno’s patent portfolio has been expanded again! 10 new patents have been issued to us thus far in 2021. We now hold 45 patents, which is the world’s largest patent portfolio for RF matching networks and RF generators. This broadens and strengthens our IP portfolio, which limits the possible alternatives to design a solid-state matching network not covered by our technology.
US Patent #10,984,985 RF IMPEDANCE MATCHING NETWORK (issued April 20, 2021)
An RF impedance matching network includes an electronically variable reactance element (EVRE) comprising discrete reactance elements and corresponding switches. The switches are configured to switch in and out the discrete reactance elements to alter a total reactance provided by the EVRE. Upon determining a monitored value that exceeds a predetermined amount, the discrete reactance element of the EVRE is prevented from switching in or out.
US Patent #10,984,986 IMPEDANCE MATCHING NETWORK AND METHOD (issued April 20, 2021)
An RF impedance matching network for a plasma chamber includes at least one electronically variable capacitor (EVC), with each EVC comprising discrete capacitors each having a corresponding switching circuit. Each switching circuit is configured to switch in and out its corresponding discrete capacitor to alter a total capacitance of the EVC. Each switching circuit includes a first diode operably coupled to the discrete capacitor, a capacitor coupled in series with the first diode, and a second diode operably coupled to the discrete capacitor. The second diode parallel to the first diode and the capacitor coupled in series.
US Patent #11,017,983 RF POWER AMPLIFIER (issued May 25, 2021)
An RF power amplifier includes a first transistor and a second transistor in parallel, wherein a gate of the first transistor and a gate of the second transistor are configured to be driven by an RF source. A third transistor comprising a drain is operably coupled to both a source of the first transistor and a source of the second transistor. A control circuit is operably coupled to a gate of the third transistor and configured to alter a gate to source voltage of the third transistor, thereby altering a drain current of each of the first transistor and the second transistor, thereby altering an output power of the RF power amplifier.
US Patent #11,081,316 IMPEDANCE MATCHING NETWORK AND METHOD (issued August 3, 2021)
An RF impedance matching network for a plasma chamber includes a mechanically variable capacitor (MVC) and an electronically variable capacitor (EVC). The control circuit is configured to adjust the EVC and the RF source frequency (frequency tuning) to reduce reflected power.
US Patent #11,101,110 IMPEDANCE MATCHING NETWORK AND METHOD (issued August 24, 2021)
An impedance matching network that includes an electronically variable capacitor (EVC). The EVC includes discrete capacitors and corresponding switches, each switch configured to switch in and out one of the discrete capacitors to alter a capacitance of the EVC. The switches are coupled to a power supply providing a blocking voltage to the switches. The control circuit determines a blocking voltage value of the power supply. If the blocking voltage value is at or below a predetermined first level, the control circuit causes a limited altering of the capacitance of the EVC by limiting the number or type of discrete capacitors to switch.
US Patent #11,114,280 IMPEDANCE MATCHING WITH MULTI-LEVEL POWER SETPOINT (issued September 7, 2021)
A method to perform RF impedance matching when the RF input signal has multi-level power setpointpulsing. (Level-to-Level Pulsing or L2LTM)
US Patent #11,120,971 DIAGNOSTICS FOR IMPEDANCE MATCHING NETWORK (issued September 14, 2021)
A diagnostic system and method for performing diagnostics on an impedance matching network switching circuit for an EVC. This is accomplished by measuring changes in the current as the driver switches in discrete capacitors, thereby identifying irregularities indicative of a bad switching circuit.
US Patent #11,150,283 AMPLITUDE AND PHASE DETECTION CIRCUIT (will issue October 19, 2021)
A wideband amplitude and phase detection circuit with 90° phase offset for impedance measurement circuit for detecting phase, voltage amplitude and current amplitude, while providing a 90° offset. A high-pass filter and a low-pass filter are each configured to filter the current signal from the current signal input or the voltage signal from the voltage signal input.
Application #17/182,902 HIGH VOLTAGE SWITCHING CIRCUIT (allowed July 28, 2021)
A driver circuit with asynchronous electronic switches comprising one or more diodes for switching a reactance element within an electronically variable reactance element (EVRE).
Application #16/922,228 RF IMPEDANCE MATCHING CIRCUIT AND SYSTEM AND METHODS INCORPORATING SAME (allowed August 4, 2021)
An RF impedance matching network using electronically variable capacitors (EVC), which include discrete fine and coarse capacitors operably coupled in parallel. A control circuit determines a parameter related to the plasma chamber, which, based on the parameter, determines which of the coarse capacitors and which of the fine capacitors to have switched in to cause an impedance match. The increase of the variable total capacitance of each EVC is achieved by switching in more of the coarse capacitors or more of the fine capacitors than are already switched in without switching out a coarse capacitor that is already switched in.