Multi-chip module smart controller

  • US 6,938,177 B1
  • Filed: 12/19/2001
  • Issued: 08/30/2005
  • Est. Priority Date: 12/19/2001
  • Status: Active Grant
First Claim
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1. An instrument controller comprising:

  • a non-volatile memory storage component for program and data storage;

    a large volatile memory storage component for additional program and data storage;

    a processor coupled to both the non-volatile memory storage component and the large volatile memory storage components, the processor capable of high-frequency and low-frequency operations and having an embedded memory for storing an initialization program that enables the processor to start up processing without first retrieving a program from the non-volatile memory;

    at least two internal oscillators coupled to the processor, for providing clock signals for the low-frequency and high-frequency operations;

    a plurality of gates arranged in a field programmable gate array, the gate array coupled to the processor and configured to run independent processes in parallel with the processor; and

    a plurality of analog-to-digital converters for receiving a plurality of analog inputs, digitizing the analog inputs at one of at least two possible bit depths, thereby generating digital inputs, and providing the digital inputs to the processor;

    wherein a first portion of the gates in the field programmable gate array is configured to perform signal processing; and

    wherein a second portion of the gates in the field programmable gate array is configured to operate as a signal distribution matrix for rerouting signals within the instrument controller.

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