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Patents Generated in the course of business during my watch

A number of useful patents were developed by the team over the course of the development of the satellite radio receivers and the system, while I was leading the team. I encouraged innovation when it had useful implications to the users, the customers, and the business. The value of inventions is often unclear until years later. Some of these inventions have clear value, and protect architectures that are in the field as you read this.Others, on the other hand, may never see the light of day. Some ideas were found non patentable because of prior art. The volume of inventions is significant in the ten year span of work on our little receiver system.

Hereis a list of patents, with links to the USPTO site:

Satellite Radio Patents


Comments on value
January 5, 2010Lai; Yhean-Sen

Method and apparatus for a single-path enhanced-algorithm digital automatic gain control integrated receiver with power management and XM interference enhancement

A single-path enhanced-algorithm digital automatic gain control (SDAGC) integrated receiver is presented. The SDAGC has a front-end RF/IF reception/processing block and associated RF/IF AGC, which outputs to a single ADC. Output from the ADC is split into two TDM and one COFDM signal pathways, each with a respective DAGC. The TDM DAGCs are controlled according to TDM post-power signals, while the COFDM, DAGC is controlled according to COFDM post- and pre-power signals. An IF Gain Decision block determines the RF/IF gain based upon the respective gains of the TDM and COFDM DAGCs. A Gain Distributor block then distributes the total gain of the system across the RF/IF AGC and the various DAGCs. To save power, the COFDM pathways may be disabled if the COFDM pre-power signal falls below a threshold value.

Fundamental Patent for single path satellite receivers in satellite augmented terrestrial systems. This system allow significant cost reduction and the distributed nature of the AGC is clever. This was the key to a simple implementation with low component costs.

December 29, 2009
Lai; Yhean-Sen
Malkemes; Robert Conrad


Method and apparatus for providing synchronization in a communication system
A dual loop, clock synchronization circuit for a receiver in a communication system. The circuitry uses a first loop of a digital phase lock loop for coarse synchronization to time stamps within the received data and uses a second loop for fine synchronization of a second numerically controlled oscillator. The significance of this patent was the ability to eliminate a crystal reference oscillator (TCXO) on the application board. The system uses the actual signal to derive the reference used to demodulate the signal. The scheme showed insignificant degradation in signal quality when implemented.
December 1, 2009 Holder, Jr.; Clinton H
Lee; Kang W
Simko; Joseph E
Smooha; Yehuda
Zhu; Ying
Voltage programming switch for one-time-programmable (OTP) memories

In one embodiment, the invention is an integrated circuit (IC) including an OTP memory and conditioning circuitry. The IC receives an externally-generated DC programming voltage signal that the conditioning circuitry transforms into a programming pulse signal for programming the OTP memory. The conditioning circuitry includes: (i) reset protection circuitry for holding the programming pulse signal low if the IC is powering up, (ii) an overvoltage protection circuit for substantially preventing the programming pulse voltage from exceeding predefined boundaries, and (iii) a conversion switch for controlling the programming pulse voltage. The programming pulse voltage is (i) substantially equivalent to the externally-generated DC voltage if an enable signal is on, and (ii) substantially equivalent to a reference voltage if the enable signal is off.

This is a fundamental method which we developed from the need to efficiently program the on board OTP for the device, in the factory.

July 2, 2009
(Applied, Pending)
Malkemes; Robert Conrad
Song; Jie


The present invention implements a method and system for receiving content in a Satellite Digital Audio Radio Service (SDARS) system. The method includes receiving a first signal stream in an SDARS receiver, the first signal stream including the SDARS content. The method further includes receiving a second signal stream in the SDARS receiver, the second signal stream including the SDARS content, the second signal stream being delayed relative to the first signal stream by a predetermined delay time. The method further includes combining the first signal stream and the second signal stream in to a composite signal that includes the SDARS content. The method further includes powering off a portion of the SDARS receiver, wherein the powering off of the portion of the SDARS receiver does not cause a disruption in the composite signal.

In a satellite, terrestrial augmented system (Sirius, XM, ICO) the ability to dynamically turn segments of the receivers on and off allows savings of power consumption. Methods for disabling the receiver, in whole or in part, were conceived for the purpose of creating highly portable receivers which could eventually fit in cell phones much like FM radio receivers.
April 30, 2009
Archibald; James L.

Malkemes; Robert C.
Yu; Jinguo

In one embodiment, a satellite radio receiver is capable of simultaneously processing (i) a first radio channel that is playing on a first speaker and (ii) a second radio channel, different from the first radio channel, that is not playing on the first speaker. The second radio channel can simultaneously be playing on a second speaker, be recorded onto a non-volatile memory, and/or have its processing modified. A user can control the satellite radio receiver using vocal commands, while the first channel is playing on the first speaker. The radio receiver has a microphone connected to a voice-recognition command interpreter that includes an interfering-sound canceller, which reduces sounds interfering with the vocal commands, and a command-recognition module, which recognizes vocal commands and provides a control signal to a multi-channel control processor, which processes and controls the first and second radio channels, received from corresponding decoders connected to a satellite radio receiver antenna.

This patent improves the features and quality of voice controlled, and voice recognition, satellite radio receivers. Since the car entertainment systems trend is voice recognition control, the integration of the features will prove to be useful, especially in future integrated systems.

June 12, 2008
Lai; Yhean-Sen

Malkemes; Robert C
Song; Jie
Orlando; Denis P.
Lee; Inseop


An SDARS receiver includes an analog front end configured to receive a composite signal. An A/D converter is coupled to the analog front end and converts the signal to a digitized signal. A digital down converter (DDC) is coupled to the A/D converter and down converts the digitized signal to a down converted signal. A demodulator demodulates the down converted signal. The receiver includes a digital automatic gain control (DAGC) coupled to an output of the A/D converter and before the demodulator. An automatic gain controller is coupled to the DAGC for providing an automatic gain control signal. The fundamental use of a single path A/D converter and the consequent AGC structures are described in the invention. THis is the architectural patent on single path AGC for a very sensitive receiver with high interference immunity and high dynamic range.

December 13, 2007
Song; Jie

Malkemes; Robert Conrad

Forward error correction decoding method and apparatus for satellite digital audio radio broadcasting The present invention relates to an improved decoding scheme for use in a concatenated channel decoder. In the present invention, the decoding of the concatenated code is done iteratively to increase the confidence for any corrected symbols. As a result, the overall performance of the decoder is improved. This iterative process comprises using a Maximal a posteriori (MAP) decoder which generates decoded information, to include Erasure Information. The output of the MAP decoder is then supplied to a Reed Solomon (RS) decoder, which attains better error correction performance by using this Erasure Information. This improved output of the RS decoder is then supplied back to the MAP decoder, thereby improving the performance of the system. Improvements to the concatenated decoding of signals by iterative methods. Concept.
February 22, 2007
; Robert

Orlando; Denis

Song; Jie

Zhong; Eric
Single path architecture & automatic gain control (SAGC) algorithm for low power SDARS receivers

An automatic gain control (AGC) for use in a digital radio receiver that allows at least two types of input signal to be processed using a single receiver front end by supporting two modes of operation, each optimized for one particular signal type, and a third mode not optimized for either. The AGC enables smooth switching between the optimized modes of operation via the non-optimized mode. By measuring a difference in the strength between the demodulated signals, and comparing that to two preset values, the AGC which mode of operation to place the receiver in. Modes of operation are maintained by adjusting the gain of a variable gain amplifier (VGA), so that an appropriate incoming signal is amplified to a level that is suitable for an analogue-to-digital (ADC) converter. The AGC is compatible with existing satellite digital audio radio system (SDARS) transmission capabilities Original concept of the single path receiver.
May 5, 2009
Celebi; Samel

Song; Jie
Yun; Paul M.
Dithering scheme using multiple antennas for OFDM systems

A ground-or roof-top-based repeater in an OFDM system uses multiple transmission antennas to retransmit satellite signals. By using multiple transmission antennas, multiple identical OFDM signals are transmitted. Dithering is performed by, using a phase of Rayleigh process generator, introducing a slight variable-frequency phase offset to all but one of the multiple identical transmitted OFDM signals, and thus the effective overall channel is more dynamic and provides spatial diversity to minimize long periods of fading in fading subchannels of the OFDM signals when the receiver is in a slow moving or stationary situation. To overcome the additional cancellation problem that can occur when two or more of the transmitting antennas are in a line-of-site position with the receiver and approximately the same distance from the receiver, a delay is deliberately introduced to make the delayed signal(s) appear to be reflected signals. This delay will not negatively impact the OFDM receiver performance as long as the delay is within the guard interval used in the OFDM process. Stationary OFDM receivers may have interference or fading environment that prevents pilot carrier detection, and as such the only way to get recoverable signal is to dither the antenna to prevent fading. The scheme was implemented in the field, it works.

April 30, 2009
Jiang; Hong

Muth; Edwin A
Rauchwerk; Martin


In one embodiment, a receiver for providing a virtual local channel in a broadcast radio system that transmits a plurality of sets of local content corresponding to a plurality of different geographic regions is disclosed. The receiver includes a detector (e.g., 432), adapted to determine a regional identifier for the receiver. The receiver also includes a channel selector (e.g., 412), adapted to obtain a selected set of local content from among the plurality of sets of local content, based on the determined regional identifier, for inclusion in the virtual local channel. The determined regional identifier identifies the geographic region associated with the selected set of local content. Local advertising on satellite radio receivers would rely on local station identifiers.
March 31, 2009
Archibald; James L
Holder, Jr.; Clinton H
Lee; Kang W.
Muth; Edwin A.
Ulery; Kreg D.

Integrated circuit feature definition using one-time-programmable (OTP) memory In one embodiment, a integrated circuit (IC) configurable to have any one of a plurality of different feature sets, the IC including (a) one or more feature blocks adapted to be independently enabled or disabled, (b) a one-time-programmable (OTP) memory cell for each feature block, the OTP memory cell storing a value, and (c) a feature control module for each feature block, each feature control module connected between the corresponding OTP memory cell and the corresponding feature block, and adapted to enable or disable the corresponding feature block based on the value stored in the corresponding OTP memory cell. The OTP memory cells are programmed by a vendor to select the particular feature set for the IC which is to be available to a purchaser This is a very useful patent which allows a chip manufacturer to segment the product line to add/remove features and therefore price the same ASIC or Integrated circuit Die in the same market at different prices. Typically a pricing model may be effected through package change, part label change, or selling the same part to the electronics assembly house and requesting to audit their bookd so see what was shipped. The idea was that with an OTP hard wired to blocks, the memory is programmed on the same part to disable certain features. This allows the IC manufacturer to stock the same part, until final test and packaging. The part then gets a suffix label on the box.
August 18, 2009
Song; Jie

Malkemes; Robert Conrad
Forward error correction decoding method and apparatus for satellite digital audio radio broadcasting
The present invention relates to an improved decoding scheme for use in a concatenated channel decoder. In the present invention, the decoding of the concatenated code is done iteratively to increase the confidence for any corrected symbols. As a result, the overall performance of the decoder is improved. This iterative process comprises using a Maximal a posteriori (MAP) decoder which generates decoded information, to include Erasure Information. The output of the MAP decoder is then supplied to a Reed Solomon (RS) decoder, which attains better error correction performance by using this Erasure Information. This improved output of the RS decoder is then supplied back to the MAP decoder, thereby improving the performance of the system. The fully adaptive maximal ration combiner allows best reception of three signals based on power estimates of each. The algorithm worked in real time and significant improvements in signal quality ensued.

Fishman; David A.
Malkemes; Robert C.
, Orlando; Denis P
Song; Jie
Zhong; Eric

Zhu; Ying

Automatic gain control for satellite digital audio radio service receiver, method of automatically controlling gain and SDARS receiver incorporating the same An automatic gain control (AGC) for a Satellite Digital Audio Radio Service (SDARS) receiver, a method of automatically controlling gain and a SDARS receiver incorporating the AGC or the method. In one embodiment, the AGC includes: (1) an AGC function selector configured to compare first and second time division multiplexed (TDM) power signals and a nonzero threshold and select an AGC function based thereon and (2) an AGC function applier associated with the AGC function selector and configured to apply the AGC function to the first and second TDM power signals to develop therefrom an AGC control signal. This patent was fundamental to the two path receivers satellite signal path.
July 15, 2008 Malkemes; Robert C.
Muth; Edwin A.

Orlando; Denis P.

Song; Jie

Broadcast retransmitter, method of retransmitting a broadcast and system employing the same

The present invention provides a broadcast retransmitter for use with a wireless local area network (WLAN). In one embodiment, the broadcast retransmitter includes a gateway configured to format a bitstream received from a broadcast receiver for delivery to a wireless access point (WAP) of the WLAN and subsequent conversion by the WAP into a wireless transmission over the WLAN to make the bitstream available for reception by a client of the WLAN.

WiFi patent for distribution of satellite readio through a house. A Satellite Radio gateway function idea which was not yet commercialized.

August 7, 2007
Helden; Jan-Willem
Hiddink; Gerrit Willem
van Kampen; Harald
Lammerts; Eric

Method and apparatus for pairing and configuring wireless devices

A method and mechanism for quickly and easily connecting wireless consumer electronic devices with each other without affecting other wireless devices in the vicinity, by bringing devices into close proximity while in a whisper mode of communication. In whisper mode, the reception and/or transmission capability is significantly reduced, limiting the distance over which the devices communicate, allowing for secure exchange of communications parameters The parameters exchanged in whisper mode may be used to enable unique, paired communication between the two devices, or between one of them and any other device already connected to a common network, when operating in their normal mode of operation, separated by any distance within the normal operational range of the devices.

Patent generated by my team in the Netherlands while we were, in addition to the satellite radio work, developing the market for WiFi multimedia transmission in home. The concept was to use 802.11 G with quality of service, encryption, and dropping corrupt TCP/IP frames after retry to prevent link slow down for streaming applications.