Monday, December 10, 2007

US Patent 7305571 - Intelligent power distribution using MEMS crosspoint switch array

For large integrated circuits different operating modes may require different distribution of power to be supplied. This patent from IBM proposes micromechanical switching arrays to perform redistribution of supplied power in ICs to supply variable distribution based on a dynamic system configuration. Claim 1 reads:

1. A power distribution network of an IC chip comprising: a first group of parallel power lines, and a second group of parallel power lines, wherein said first group of power lines transverse orthogonal to said second group of power lines; an array of MEM (microelectricalmechanical) switches between said two groups of power lines having one MEM switch located at each cross-point of said two transverse power lines; a MEM switch control signal is provided for each MEM switch to control “on/off” of the respective MEM switch; a look-up table of the current demand for the various sub-systems on the chip for a selected series of system modes and operating conditions; and a comparison engine to compare the system state and its associated current demand to that for the system configuration and active processes being used at the time.