Patent Number: 6,166,960

Title: Method, system and apparatus for determining that a programming voltage level is sufficient for reliably programming an eeprom

Abstract: An electronic system, comprising a digital processor and an EEPROM, has circuit logic and program software or firmware for determining if a programming voltage level is sufficient for reliably programming the EEPROM. A charge pump is enabled and generates a voltage used for programming of the EEPROM. The enabled charge pump thereby loads a battery power supply. In addition, a test load may be connected to the output of the charge pump to simulate the EEPROM load during a programming operation to the EEPROM. The charge pump output voltage is measured to determine if at least a desired voltage value is obtained. Once the charge pump voltage level has been pre-qualified for the desired voltage value, an actual programming operation to the EEPROM may be performed. If the voltage level does not reach the desired value then a programming operation is inhibited and the electronic system may alarm or shut down operation. The charge pump voltage level is a good indication and measure of battery charge condition under actual EEPROM programming load conditions.

Inventors: Marneweck; Willem J. (Tempe, AZ), Smit; Willem (Chandler, AZ), Chen; Meiling (Tempe, AZ)

Assignee: Microchip Technology, Incorporated

International Classification: G11C 16/22 (20060101); G11C 16/06 (20060101); G11C 16/30 (20060101); G11C 016/04 (); G11C 016/06 ()

Expiration Date: 12/26/2017