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1. WO2007145752 - VOLTAGE UP-CONVERSION CIRCUIT USING LOW VOLTAGE TRANSISTORS

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[ EN ]

CLAIMS
1. A voltage up-conversion circuit comprising:
a modulated voltage generator circuit, said modulated voltage generator circuit being configured to receive an input voltage and generate a modulated voltage;
a switching circuit coupled to said modulated voltage generator circuit, said switching circuit being configured to couple said modulated voltage to a load capacitor when said modulated voltage is at a high level and decouple said modulated voltage from said load capacitor when said modulated voltage is at a low level;
wherein said load capacitor reaches a voltage greater than a breakdown voltage of at least one transistor in said modulated voltage generator circuit.

2. The voltage up-conversion circuit of claim 1 wherein said switching circuit comprises at least one transistor, wherein said load capacitor reaches a voltage greater than a breakdown voltage of said at least one transistor in said switching circuit.

3. The voltage up-conversion circuit of claim 1 further comprising a control circuit coupled to said switching circuit, wherein said control circuit generates a control voltage, wherein said control voltage causes said switching circuit to couple said modulated voltage to said load capacitor when said modulated voltage is at said high level and decouple said modulated voltage from said load capacitor when said modulated voltage is at said low level.

4. The voltage up-conversion circuit of claim 3 wherein said control circuit comprises at least one transistor, wherein said load capacitor reaches a voltage greater than a breakdown voltage of said at least one transistor in said control circuit.

5. The voltage up-conversion circuit of claim 1 wherein said breakdown voltage comprises a reliability breakdown voltage.

6. The voltage up-conversion circuit of claim 5 wherein a difference in voltage between any two terminals of said at least one transistor in said modulated voltage generator circuit is less than said reliability breakdown voltage of said at least one transistor.

7. The voltage up-conversion circuit of claim 3 further comprising a timing circuit coupled to said modulated voltage generator circuit and said control circuit, wherein said timing circuit is configured to cause said modulated voltage generator circuit to generate said modulated voltage and to cause said control circuit to couple said modulated voltage to said load capacitor only when said modulated voltage is at said high level and decouple said modulated voltage from said load capacitor when said modulated voltage is at said low level.

8. The voltage up-conversion circuit of claim 7 wherein said timing circuit is further configured to cause said control circuit to couple said modulated voltage to said load capacitor only when said modulated voltage is at said high level.

9. The voltage up-conversion circuit of claim 3 wherein said control voltage generated by said control circuit and said modulated voltage generated by said modulated voltage generator circuit are approximately 180 degrees out of phase.

10. The voltage up-conversion circuit of claim 1 wherein said at least one transistor in said modulated voltage generator circuit comprises a FET.

11. A modulated voltage generator circuit comprising:
an input node for receiving an input voltage;
an output node for providing a modulated voltage, said modulated voltage alternating between a low level and a high level, said high level being substantially greater than said input voltage;
a first FET configured to isolate said output node from said input node when said modulated voltage is at said high level;
wherein said high level of said modulated voltage is greater than a breakdown voltage of said first FET.

12. The modulated voltage generator circuit of claim 11 further comprising a first capacitor having a first terminal and a second terminal, said first terminal being coupled to said output node and said second terminal being coupled to a ground when said modulated voltage is at said low level and said second terminal being coupled to said input node when said modulated voltage is at said high level.

13. The modulated voltage generator circuit of claim 11 wherein said breakdown voltage of said first FET comprises a reliability breakdown voltage.

14. The modulated voltage generator circuit of claim 12 further comprising a second FET having a source terminal, a drain terminal, and a gate terminal, wherein said source terminal of said second FET is coupled to said output node, said drain terminal of said second FET is coupled to a gate terminal of said first FET, and said drain terminal of said second FET is coupled to said input node, wherein said high level of said modulated voltage is greater than a breakdown voltage of said second FET.

15. The modulated voltage generator circuit of claim 14 wherein said breakdown voltage of said second FET comprises a reliability breakdown voltage.

16. The modulated voltage generator circuit of claim 14 further comprising a second capacitor having a first terminal and a second terminal, wherein said first terminal of said second capacitor is switchably coupled to said input node and said second terminal of said second capacitor is coupled to said gate terminal of said first FET and said drain terminal of said second FET.

17. The modulated voltage generator circuit of claim 11 wherein said first FET comprises a PFET.

18. The modulated voltage generator circuit of claim 14 wherein said first FET and said second FET each comprise a PFET.

19. The modulated voltage generator circuit of claim 14 wherein said first FET is turned off and said second FET is turned on when said modulated voltage is at said high level.

20. The modulated voltage generator circuit of claim 11 wherein said input voltage is approximately equal to said modulated voltage when said modulated voltage is at said low level.

21. The modulated voltage generator circuit of claim 16 wherein said first terminal of said second capacitor is switchably coupled to said input node by a PFET, wherein a source terminal and a body terminal of said PFET are connected to said input node.

22. The modulated voltage generator circuit of claim 12 wherein said second terminal of said first capacitor is coupled to said ground by an NFET, wherein a source terminal and a body terminal of said NFET are coupled to said ground.

23. A method for voltage up-conversion, said method comprising steps of:
using a modulated voltage generator circuit to generate a modulated voltage, said modulated voltage alternating between a low level and a high level, said modulated voltage generator circuit comprising at least one transistor;
coupling said modulated voltage to a load capacitor only when said modulated voltage is at said high level;
wherein said load capacitor reaches a voltage greater than a reliability breakdown voltage of said at least one transistor in said modulated voltage generator circuit, wherein said at least one transistor is switchably controlled such that a voltage between each pair of terminals of said at least one transistor is less than said reliability breakdown voltage of said at least one transistor.

24. The method of claim 23 wherein said step of coupling said modulated voltage to said load capacitor utilizes at least one transistor in a switching circuit to couple said modulated voltage to said load capacitor, wherein said load capacitor reaches a voltage greater than a reliability breakdown voltage of said at least one transistor in said switching circuit, wherein said at least one transistor in said switching circuit is switchably controlled such that a voltage between each pair of terminals of said at least one transistor in said switching circuit is less than said reliability breakdown voltage.

25. The method of claim 24 wherein said at least one transistor in said switching circuit is controlled by a control circuit, wherein said control circuit comprises at least one transistor, wherein said load capacitor reaches a voltage greater than a reliability breakdown voltage of said at least one transistor in said control circuit, wherein said at least one transistor in said control circuit is switchably controlled such that a voltage between each pair of terminals of said at least one transistor in said control circuit is less than said reliability breakdown voltage.