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Patent Issued for Anisotropic Magneto-Resistive (AMR) Angle Sensor (USPTO 10,365,123): Texas Instruments Incorporated

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08/14/2019 | 05:48pm EDT

2019 AUG 14 (NewsRx) -- By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Technology Business Daily -- Texas Instruments Incorporated (Dallas, Texas, United States) has been issued patent number 10,365,123, according to news reporting originating out of Alexandria, Virginia, by NewsRx editors.

The patent’s inventors are Lee, Dok Won (Mountain View, CA); Mazotti, Erika Lynn (San Martin, CA); French, William David (San Jose, CA).

This patent was filed on July 21, 2017 and was published online on August 12, 2019.

From the background information supplied by the inventors, news correspondents obtained the following quote: “Anisotropic magneto-resistive material changes the value of its electrical resistance in response to a change in an externally applied magnetic field, for example in response to a change in direction of the externally applied magnetic field. Anisotropic magneto-resistive (AMR) angle sensors exploit this property to develop an indication of angular position such as angular position of a shaft. In a typical embodiment, an AMR sensor is disposed in a fixed location, a magnet is attached to a rotating shaft proximate to the AMR sensor, and the AMR sensor develops an indication of the angular position of the shaft in response to changing orientation of the magnetic field produced by the rotating magnet.”

Supplementing the background information on this patent, NewsRx reporters also obtained the inventors’ summary information for this patent: “Some embodiments are directed to an anisotropic magneto-resistive (AMR) angle sensor. The sensor comprises a first Wheatstone bridge comprising a first serpentine resistor, a second serpentine resistor, a third serpentine resistor, and a fourth serpentine resistor. The sensor also comprises a second Wheatstone bridge comprising a fifth serpentine resistor, a sixth serpentine resistor, a seventh serpentine resistor, and an eighth serpentine resistor. The serpentine resistors comprise anisotropic magneto-resistive material that changes resistance in response to a change in an applied magnetic field. The sensor also includes a surrounding of anisotropic magneto-resistive material disposed in substantially a same plane as the serpentine resistors, enclosing the serpentine resistors, and electrically isolated from the serpentine resistors. The first Wheatstone bridge, the second Wheatstone bridge, and the surrounding of anisotropic magneto-resistive material are part of a sensor die.

“Some embodiments are directed to an anisotropic magneto-resistive (AMR) angle sensor, comprising a first Wheatstone bridge that includes a first serpentine resistor, a second serpentine resistor, a third serpentine resistor, and a fourth serpentine resistor. The sensor also comprises a second Wheatstone bridge comprising a fifth serpentine resistor, a sixth serpentine resistor, a seventh serpentine resistor, and an eighth serpentine resistor. The serpentine resistors each define a substantially trapezoidal polygon disposed in substantially a same plane as the other serpentine resistors. The serpentine resistors are disposed to define a substantially regular octagonal polygon. The fifth serpentine resistor is located between the first serpentine resistor and the second serpentine resistor, the sixth serpentine resistor is located between the second serpentine resistor and the third serpentine resistor, the seventh serpentine resistor is located between the third and the fourth serpentine resistor, and the eighth serpentine resistor is located between the fourth serpentine resistor and the first serpentine resistor. The serpentine resistors comprise anisotropic magneto-resistive material that changes resistance in response to a change in an externally-applied magnetic field. The sensor also includes a surrounding of anisotropic magneto-resistive material disposed in substantially the same plane as the serpentine resistors, enclosing the serpentine resistors and electrically isolated from the serpentine resistors.

“In some embodiments, an anisotropic magneto-resistive (AMR) angle sensor die comprises a first Wheatstone bridge comprising a first serpentine resistor, a second serpentine resistor, a third serpentine resistor, and a fourth serpentine resistor. The sensor die also includes a second Wheatstone bridge comprising a fifth serpentine resistor, a sixth serpentine resistor, a seventh serpentine resistor, and an eighth serpentine resistor. Each of the serpentine resistors defines a substantially trapezoidal polygon disposed in substantially the same plane as the other serpentine resistors. The serpentine resistors are disposed to define a substantially regular octagonal polygon. The fifth serpentine resistor is located between the first serpentine resistor and the second serpentine resistor, the sixth serpentine resistor is located between the second serpentine resistor and the third serpentine resistor, the seventh serpentine resistor is located between the third and the fourth serpentine resistor, and the eighth serpentine resistor is located between the fourth serpentine resistor and the first serpentine resistor. The serpentine resistors comprise anisotropic magneto-resistive material that changes resistance in response to a change in an externally-applied magnetic field. The sensor die also includes a surrounding of anisotropic magneto-resistive material disposed in substantially the same plane as the serpentine resistors, enclosing an outer perimeter of the regular octagonal polygon defined by the serpentine resistors, disposed between the serpentine resistors, and electrically isolated from the serpentine resistors.

“In an embodiment, a method of forming an integrated device is disclosed. The method comprises providing a substrate having a semiconductor surface layer including functional circuitry, a lower metal stack on the semiconductor surface layer, an interlevel dielectric (ILD) layer on the lower metal stack, a top metal layer providing AMR contact pads and bond pads coupled to the AMR contact pads in the ILD layer and forming an anisotropic magneto-resistive (AMR) device above the lower metal stack lateral to the functional circuitry including depositing an AMR stack including a seed layer, an AMR material layer then a capping layer, wherein the seed layer is coupled to the AMR contact pads. The method further comprises patterning the AMR stack, comprising isolating a surrounding of magneto-resistive material from a plurality of serpentine resistors of the AMR stack, depositing a protective overcoat (PO layer) over the AMR stack, and etching openings in the POP layer to reveal the bond pads.

“These and other features will be more clearly understood from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings and claims.”

The claims supplied by the inventors are:

“What is claimed is:

“1. An anisotropic magneto-resistive (AMR) angle sensor, comprising: a first Wheatstone bridge comprising a first serpentine resistor, a second serpentine resistor, a third serpentine resistor, and a fourth serpentine resistor; a second Wheatstone bridge comprising a fifth serpentine resistor, a sixth serpentine resistor, a seventh serpentine resistor, and an eighth serpentine resistor; wherein the serpentine resistors comprise anisotropic magneto-resistive material that changes resistance in response to a change in an applied magnetic field, and a surrounding of anisotropic magneto-resistive material disposed in substantially a same plane as the serpentine resistors, enclosing the serpentine resistors, and electrically isolated from the serpentine resistors, wherein the first Wheatstone bridge, the second Wheatstone bridge, and the surrounding of anisotropic magneto-resistive material are part of a sensor die.

“2. The AMR angle sensor of claim 1, wherein each of the serpentine resistors defines a substantially trapezoidal polygon disposed in substantially a same plane as the other serpentine resistors, the serpentine resistors are disposed to define a substantially regular octagonal polygon, the fifth serpentine resistor is located between the first serpentine resistor and the second serpentine resistor, the sixth serpentine resistor is located between the second serpentine resistor and the third serpentine resistor, the seventh serpentine resistor is located between the third and the fourth serpentine resistor, and the eighth serpentine resistor is located between the fourth serpentine resistor and the first serpentine resistor.

“3. The AMR angle sensor of claim 2, wherein the surrounding of anisotropic magneto-resistive material enclosing the serpentine resistors further is disposed between the serpentine resistors.

“4. The AMR angle sensor of claim 1, wherein the electrical isolation between the surrounding of anisotropic magneto-resistive material and the serpentine resistors is less than 2 .mu.m wide.

“5. The AMR angle sensor of claim 1, wherein the electrical isolation between the surrounding of anisotropic magneto-resistive material and the serpentine resistors is provided by etching that is less than 1 .mu.m wide.

“6. The AMR angle sensor of claim 1, wherein a planar area of the sensor die is less than 1.2 mm.times.1.2 mm.

“7. The AMR sensor of claim 1, further comprising an analog front end (AFE) electrically coupled to the sensor die that provides electrical power to the sensor die and provides signal conditioning to outputs of the sensor die.

“8. An anisotropic magneto-resistive (AMR) angle sensor, comprising: a first Wheatstone bridge comprising a first serpentine resistor, a second serpentine resistor, a third serpentine resistor, and a fourth serpentine resistor; a second Wheatstone bridge comprising a fifth serpentine resistor, a sixth serpentine resistor, a seventh serpentine resistor, and an eighth serpentine resistor, wherein the serpentine resistors each define a substantially trapezoidal polygon disposed in substantially a same plane as the other serpentine resistors, the serpentine resistors are disposed to define a substantially regular octagonal polygon, the fifth serpentine resistor is located between the first serpentine resistor and the second serpentine resistor, the sixth serpentine resistor is located between the second serpentine resistor and the third serpentine resistor, the seventh serpentine resistor is located between the third and the fourth serpentine resistor, and the eighth serpentine resistor is located between the fourth serpentine resistor and the first serpentine resistor, wherein the serpentine resistors comprise anisotropic magneto-resistive material that changes resistance in response to a change in an externally-applied magnetic field; and a surrounding of anisotropic magneto-resistive material disposed in substantially the same plane as the serpentine resistors, enclosing the serpentine resistors and electrically isolated from the serpentine resistors.

“9. The AMR angle sensor of claim 8, wherein each of the serpentine resistors comprises a plurality of substantially parallel strips of anisotropic magneto-resistive material interconnected by metal contacts.

“10. The AMR angle sensor of claim 9, wherein the strips of anisotropic magneto-resistive material of the first serpentine resistor are substantially parallel to the strips of anisotropic magneto-resistive material of the third serpentine resistor, the strips of anisotropic magneto-resistive material of the second serpentine resistor are substantially parallel to the strips of anisotropic magneto-resistive material of the fourth serpentine resistor, the strips of anisotropic magneto-resistive material of the fifth serpentine resistor are substantially parallel to the strips of anisotropic magneto-resistive material of the seventh serpentine resistor, and the strips of anisotropic magneto-resistive material of the sixth serpentine resistor are substantially parallel to the strips of anisotropic magneto-resistive material of the eighth serpentine resistor.

“11. The AMR angle sensor of claim 10, wherein the strips of anisotropic magneto-resistive material of the first and third serpentine resistors are substantially orthogonal to the strips of anisotropic magneto-resistive material of the second and third serpentine resistors and the strips of anisotropic magneto-resistive material of the fifth and seventh serpentine resistors are substantially orthogonal to the strips of anisotropic magneto-resistive material of the sixth and eighth serpentine resistors.

“12. The AMR angle sensor of claim 11, wherein the strips of anisotropic magneto-resistive material of the first serpentine resistor are offset by -45 degrees or +45 degrees to the strips of anisotropic magneto-resistive material of the fifth serpentine resistor and the strips of anisotropic magneto-resistive material of the eighth serpentine resistor.

“13. The AMR angle sensor of claim 8, wherein the anisotropic magneto-resistive material comprises nickel and iron.

“14. The AMR angle sensor of claim 8, wherein a planar area of the AMR angle sensor is less than 1.2 mm.times.1.2 mm.

“15. An anisotropic magneto-resistive (AMR) angle sensor die, comprising: a first Wheatstone bridge comprising a first serpentine resistor, a second serpentine resistor, a third serpentine resistor, and a fourth serpentine resistor; a second Wheatstone bridge comprising a fifth serpentine resistor, a sixth serpentine resistor, a seventh serpentine resistor, and an eighth serpentine resistor, wherein each of the serpentine resistors defines a substantially trapezoidal polygon disposed in substantially the same plane as the other serpentine resistors, the serpentine resistors are disposed to define a substantially regular octagonal polygon, the fifth serpentine resistor is located between the first serpentine resistor and the second serpentine resistor, the sixth serpentine resistor is located between the second serpentine resistor and the third serpentine resistor, the seventh serpentine resistor is located between the third and the fourth serpentine resistor, and the eighth serpentine resistor is located between the fourth serpentine resistor and the first serpentine resistor, wherein the serpentine resistors comprise anisotropic magneto-resistive material that changes resistance in response to a change in an externally-applied magnetic field, and a surrounding of anisotropic magneto-resistive material disposed in substantially the same plane as the serpentine resistors, enclosing an outer perimeter of the regular octagonal polygon defined by the serpentine resistors, disposed between the serpentine resistors, and electrically isolated from the serpentine resistors.

“16. The AMR angle sensor die of claim 15, wherein the anisotropic magneto-resistive material comprises nickel and iron.

“17. The AMR angle sensor die of claim 15, wherein the AMR angle sensor die has a planar area of less than 2 mm.times.2 mm.

“18. The AMR angle sensor die of claim 15, wherein the AMR angle sensor die has a planar area of less than 1.2 mm.times.1.2 mm.

“19. The AMR angle sensor die of claim 15, wherein the electrical isolation between the surrounding of anisotropic magneto-resistive material and the serpentine resistors is less than 2 .mu.m wide.

“20. The AMR angle sensor die of claim 15, wherein the electrical isolation between the surrounding of anisotropic magneto-resistive material and the serpentine resistors is less than 1 .mu.m wide.

“21. A method of forming an integrated device, comprising: providing a substrate having a semiconductor surface layer including functional circuitry, a lower metal stack on the semiconductor surface layer, an interlevel dielectric (ILD) layer on the lower metal stack, a top metal layer providing AMR contact pads and bond pads coupled to the AMR contact pads in the ILD layer; forming an anisotropic magneto-resistive (AMR) device above the lower metal stack lateral to the functional circuitry including depositing an AMR stack including a seed layer, an AMR material layer then a capping layer, wherein the seed layer is coupled to the AMR contact pads; patterning the AMR stack, comprising isolating a surrounding of magneto-resistive material from a plurality of serpentine resistors of the AMR stack; depositing a protective overcoat (PO layer) over the AMR stack; and etching openings in the PO layer to reveal the bond pads.

“22. The method of claim 21, wherein patterning the AMR stack further comprises separating strips of the serpentine resistors by a narrow gap.

“23. The method of claim 22, wherein the narrow gap is less than 1.5 .mu.m.”

For the URL and additional information on this patent, see: Lee, Dok Won; Mazotti, Erika Lynn; French, William David. Anisotropic Magneto-Resistive (AMR) Angle Sensor. U.S. Patent Number 10,365,123, filed July 21, 2017, and published online on August 12, 2019. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=10,365,123.PN.&OS=PN/10,365,123RS=PN/10,365,123

(Our reports deliver fact-based news of research and discoveries from around the world.)

Copyright © 2019 NewsRx LLC, Technology Business Daily, source Technology Newsletters

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