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TitleCertain Audio Processing Integrated Circuits and Products Containing Same
LanguageEnglish
File Size8.9 MB
Total Pages247
Document Text Contents
Page 1

In the Matter of

Certain Audio Processing Integrated
Circuits and Products Containing Same

Investigation No. 337-TA-538

Publication 3991 Mayl008 J,

U.S. International Trade Commission

Washington, DC 20436

Page 2

U.S. International Trade Commission

COMMISSIONERS

Daniel R. Pearson, Chairman
Shara L. Aranoff, Vice Chairman

Deanna Tanner Okun
Charlotte R. Lane

Irving A. Williamson*
Dean A. Pinkert*

*Commissioner Marcia E. Miller, whose term ended on September 6, 2005, participated in the decision to institute the investigation. Commissioner Shara L.
Aranoff, whose term commenced on September 6, 2005, participated in all subsequent phases of the investigation. Commissioner Irving A. Williamson was
sworn in on February 7, 2007, and Commissioner Dean A. Pinkert was sworn in on February 26, 2007; they did not participate in this investigation.
Commissioner Stephen Koplan, whose term ended on February 6, 2007, and Commissioner Jennifer A. Hillman, whose term ended on February 23, 2007,
did participate in this investigation.

Address all communications to
Secretary to the Commission

United States International Trade Commission
Washington, DC 20436

Page 123

that uses an inductor and has its low-power control, logic, startup, and clocking circuits

integrated in the stand-alone IC." (CBr at 16.)

Respondent argued that an on-chip power converter is

All the circuits that change or regulate the power supply level for
the integrated circuit are located on the integrated circuit, except
for one external element that is capable of charging and
discharging energy.

(RBr at 72.)

The staff argued that the on-chip power converter

should be construed as a power converter that requires a clock
.signal to produce the power supply level, in which all circuits
associated with the power converter are located on the integrated
circuit and in which certain of its components unrelated to the
control function such as inductors, capacitors, diodes, and
switching transistors may be fabricated off-chip.

(SBr at 9-10.)

The key difference between the parties appears to be in the nature and number of

components that may be located off-chip. Respondent argued that only one external element may

be off-chip, while complainant and the staff argued that any number of components may be off-

chip.

The' 187 patent references U.S. Patent No. 6,204,651 (the '651 patent) to more fully

describe a power converter.8 The '651 patent shows, in a preferred embodiment, that the on-chip

converter includes two off-chip elements: an inductor ("external element 20") and an off-chip

capacitor ("load 24"). Since the '651 patent is referenced for the detailed discussion on the on-

s The '187 patent states that "[f]or a more detailed discussion of the on-chip power
converter 18, refer to co-pending patent application having a ... Ser. No. of 09/551,123 and a
filing date of Apr. 18, 2000." (JX-3, 2:60-65.) Said application issued as U.S. Patent 6,204,651.
(JX-7.)

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chip power supply, said preferred embodiment is intrinsic evidence that more than a single

external element may be included in an on-chip power converter.

The '651 patent also refers to power converters as DC to DC converters. In the section

titled "BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS," Figures 1, 2, 3 and 4 each specifically

mention a DC to DC converter. (JX-7, 2:13-22.) The specification of the '651 patent later

describes Figure 1 as a "switch mode converter," Figure 2 as a "DC to DC converter," and each

of Figures 3 and 4 as a "schematic block diagram of the DC to DC converter." (JX-7, 2:62-3:53;

4:36-7; 5:1-2.) The '651 patent discloses that the external element 20 may be a device capable of

storing and discharging energy, such as an inductor. (JX-7, 2:65-3:1; 2:48-50; 6:60-61 and Figure

1.) The specification of the '187 patent also shows that the power converter requires a clock

signal, as it states "(i]f, however, the power converter is on-chip with the digital circuitry and the

power converter requires a clock signal to produce a supply voltage, a difficulty arises in

enabling such a stand-alone integrated circuit." (JX-3, 1:36-39.) Moreover, extrinsic evidence

shows that complainant used 'on-chip' to describe components of its products, and yet still had

several off-chip components. For example, one of complainant's datasheets, dated prior to the

filing date of the '187 patent, describes the power converter as "[t]he unique on-chip, multi-

channel, single-inductor DC-DC converter." (JX-8 at 4.) A circuit diagram of the power

converter, in the same datasheet, shows several external components. (JX-8 at 13.)

Based on the foregoing, the administrative law judge finds that an on-chip power

converter is a power converter that requires a clock signal to produce the power supply level, in

which all circuits associated with the control function of the power converter are located on the

integrated circuit and in which certain of its components unrelated to the control function such as

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Page 246

CERTAIN AUDIO PROCESSING INTEGRATED
CIRCUITS, AND PRODUCTS CONTAINING SAME

For Respondent Actions Semiconductor Co.:

Sturgis M. Sobin
Joel W. Rogers
655 Fifteenth Street, NW,
Suite 900

Washington, DC 20005

Investigation No. 337-TA-538

Page 247

CERTAIN AUDIO PROCESSING INTEGRATED
CIRCUITS, AND PRODUCTS CONTAINING SAME

Sherry Robinson
LEXIS-NEXIS
8891 Gander Creek Drive
Miamisburg, OH 45342

Ronnita Green
West Group
Suite 230
901 Fifteenth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20005

PUBLIC MAILING LIST

Investigation No. 337-TA-538

(PARTIES NEED NOT SERVE COPIES ON LEXIS OR WEST PUBLISHING)

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