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United States Patent 6,091,654
Forbes, et. al. Jul. 18, 2000

Circuit and method for low voltage, current sense amplifier

Abstract

An improved circuit and method for a low voltage, current sense amplifier is provided. Embodiments of the present invention capitalize on opposing sidewalls and adjacent conductive sidewall members to conserve available surface space on the semiconductor chips. Additionally, the gate and body of the transistors are biased to modify the threshold voltage of the transistor (V(t)). The conductive sidewall member configuration conserves surface space and achieves a higher density of surface structures per chip. The structures offer performance advantages from both metal-oxide semiconductor (MOS) and bipolar junction transistor (BJT) designs. The devices can be used in a variety of applications, digital and analog, wherever a more compact structure with low power consumption and fast response time is needed.


Inventors: Forbes; Leonard (Corvallis, OR); Noble; Wendell P. (Milton, VT).
Assignee: Micron Technology, Inc. (Boise, ID).
Appl. No.: 371,750
Filed: Aug. 10, 1999

Related U.S. Application Data
Continuation of (including streamline cont.) Ser. No. 50,443, Mar. 30, 1998.
Intl. Cl. : G11C 7/02
Current U.S. Cl.: 365/208; 257/378; 365/207
Field of Search: 365/205, 206, 207, 208; 257/257, 370, 378

References Cited | [Referenced By]

U.S. Patent Documents
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4,673,962Jun., 1987Chatterjee, et al. 357/23.6
4,987,089Jan., 1991Roberts 437/34
4,996,574Feb., 1991Shirasaki 357/23.7
5,006,909Apr., 1991Kosa 357/23.6
5,023,688Jun., 1991Ando et al. 357/42
5,097,381Mar., 1992Vo et al. 361/313
5,122,848Jun., 1992Lee et al. 357/23.6
5,250,450Oct., 1993Lee et al. 437/40
5,315,143May, 1994Tsuji 257/351
5,350,934Sept., 1994Matsuda 257/139
5,379,255Jan., 1995Shah 365/185
5,453,636Sept., 1995Eitan et al. 257/378
5,491,356Feb., 1996Dennison et al. 257/306
5,508,544Apr., 1996Shah 257/316
5,528,062Jun., 1996Hsieh et al. 257/298
5,541,432Jul., 1996Tsuji 257/350
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5,585,998Dec., 1996Kotecki et al. 361/321.4
5,587,665Dec., 1996Jiang 326/16
5,646,900Jul., 1997Tsukude et al. 365/205
5,680,345Oct., 1997Hsu et al. 365/185.01
5,691,230Nov., 1997Forbes 437/62
5,796,143Aug., 1998Fulford, Jr. et al. 257/330
5,796,166Aug., 1998Agnello et al. 257/751
5,892,260Apr., 1999Okumura et al. 257/347

Foreign Patent Documents
431855B1Nov., 1990EP
Other References

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Primary Examiner: Dinh; Son T.
Attorney, Agent or Firm: Schwegman, Lundberg, Woessner & Kluth, P.A.
17 Claims, 14 Drawing Figures

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