Apple patents range from address switches to product design
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Apple patents range from address switches to product design

Several Apple patents have appeared at the US Patent & Trademark Office. Following is a summary of each.

Patent number 7752366 is for a non-blocking address switch with shallow per agent queues. In one embodiment, a switch is configured to be coupled to an interconnect. The switch comprises a plurality of storage locations and an arbiter control circuit coupled to the plurality of storage locations. The plurality of storage locations are configured to store a plurality of requests transmitted by a plurality of agents. The arbiter control circuit is configured to arbitrate among the plurality of requests stored in the plurality of storage locations. A selected request is the winner of the arbitration, and the switch is configured to transmit the selected request from one of the plurality of storage locations onto the interconnect. In another embodiment, a system comprises a plurality of agents, an interconnect, and the switch coupled to the plurality of agents and the interconnect. In another embodiment, a method is contemplated. The inventors are Sridhar P. Subramanian, James B. Keller, Riuchi Wadhawan, George Kong Yiu and Ramsesh Gunna.

Patent number 7752366 involves a L1 cash flush when a processor is entering low power mode. In one embodiment, a processor comprises a data cache configured to store a plurality of cache blocks and a control unit coupled to the data cache. The control unit is configured to flush the plurality of cache blocks from the data cache responsive to an indication that the processor is to transition to a low power state in which one or more clocks for the processor are inhibited. The inventors are James B. Keller, Tse-Yu Yeh, Ramesh Gunna and Brian J. Campbell.

Patent 7752566 is for transparent overlays for predictive interface drag and drop. In accordance with one or more embodiments, a transparent overlay of available dropzones may be displayed to assist a user in determining a new configuration for a document utilizing drag and drop. The inventor is John G. Nelson.

Patent 7750282 is for a dual purpose light sensor. More particularly, an ambient light sensor may be provided on an electronic device to aid in controlling the brightness of the illuminators of the device. The ambient light sensor may be mounted in such a way as to detect ambient light when the electronic device is opened or closed so that the device may control the brightness of the illuminators of the device, whether the illuminators are mounted on the outer or inner shell of the device. Further, when the display is closed, the sensitivity of the ambient light sensor may be adjusted appropriately to account for the lesser amount of light that may reach the sensor. Finally, a spacer or light pipe may be provided to allow ambient light to reach the sensor to provide an accurate ambient light reading when the device is in the closed position. The inventors are Peter H. Mahowald and Jose N. Martinez.

Patent 7751199 involves support tabs for protecting a circuit board from applied forces. It can relate to an electronic device having one or more support tabs that protect a circuit board disposed inside the device from externally applied compressive forces. In particular, when a force is applied to a housing of the device, the support tabs can buttress the housing of the device, either directly or through other intervening components disposed within the device, to reduce the likelihood that the housing or intervening components will contact and damage the circuit board. The present invention also can relate to methods for manufacturing such an electronic device. The inventors are Douglas Joseph Weber, Pinida Jan Moolsintong and Stephen Brian Lynch.

Patent 7751198 is for a multi-connector assembly. The invention can relate to multiple-connector assemblies for use in, for example, electronic devices. Each of the connectors are constrained to another connector by aligning one or more complementary sets of reference features. A locating bracket may be used to couple multiple connectors together. Alternatively, the connectors may be coupled to each other directly. The electronic device also may include a retainer coupled to the connectors (either directly or indirectly through the locating bracket). The retainer and a surface of one of the connectors may form a single plane to which an end cap of the housing may be coupled, thereby accurately locating the end cap with respect to the connectors. The present invention also can relate to methods of manufacturing such an electronic device. The inventors are Douglas Joseph Weber and Pinida Jan Moolsintong.

Patent 7752475 is for a late data launch for a double data rate elastic interface. It involves double data rate interface in which the set-up interval is extended for a data path in which data is delayed relative to the other data path. Data is latched into a register comprised of mid cycle type latches, such as for example L2* latches. For example, if the delayed half of the data is not available until the second half of the double data rate cycle, the second half of the data is allowed to have a set-up interval around the mid cycle point while the on-chip timing logic launches the least delayed half of the data on the clock edge after it is set up, without waiting for the expiration of the set up interval of the delayed data. The inventors are Christopher J. Berry, Jonathan Y. Chen, Michael Fee, Patrick J. Meaney and Alan P. Wagstaff.

Patent 7752391 involves a variable caching policy system and method. The method includes receiving data from an external host at a peripheral storage device, detecting a file system type of the external host, and adapting a caching policy for transmitting the data to a memory accessible by the storage device, wherein the caching policy is based on the detected file system type. The detection of the file system type can be based on the received data. The detection bases can include a size of the received data. In some implementations, the detection of the file system type can be based on accessing the memory for file system type indicators that are associated with a unique file system type. Adapting the caching policy can reduce a number of data transmissions to the memory. The detected file system type can be a file allocation table (FAT) system type. The inventors are Michael J. Cornwell, Christopher P. Dudte and Kenneth L. Herman.

Patent 7751475 is for an arbitrary resolution, extreme quality video codec. Per the patent, image data to be compressed is first converted from the RGB domain into a gamma-powered YUV domain. A wavelet transform then separates image data into high- and low-detail sectors, incorporating a dynamic scaling method, allowing for optimal resolution. The output data from the wavelet transform is then quantized according to an entropy-prediction algorithm that tightly controls the final size of the processed image. An adaptive Golomb engine compresses the data using an adaptive form of Golomb encoding in which mean values are variable across the data. Using variable mean values reduces the deleterious effects found in conventional Golomb encoding in which localized regions of similar data are inefficiently coded if their bit values are uncommon in the data as a whole. Inverse functions are applied to uncompress the image, and a fractal dithering engine can additionally be applied to display an image on a display of lower color depth. The inventors are Richard E. Crandall, Evan T. Jones, Klivington and David Kramer.

Three patents are for designs. Patent number D618999 is for the Magic Mouse retail packaging. Patent number D6191445 is for an iTunes icon on iOS devices. Patent number D619143 is for the icon for the spinning cursor in Mac OS X.


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