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Researchers Submit Patent Application, "Application Pre-Launch to Reduce User Interface Latency", for Approval

March 5, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Electronics Newsweekly -- From Washington, D.C., VerticalNews journalists report that a patent application by the inventors Nguyen, Phuong Viet (San Jose, CA); Garg, Ashish (Santa Clara, CA), filed on October 22, 2013, was made available online on February 20, 2014.

The patent's assignee is Sony Electronics Inc.

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "In many hardware devices, system resources such as memory and processing power are scaled to meet current device application requirements and/or to reduce costs. Such devices typically include a number of applications which are stored in a secondary storage device within the device. When an application is first used after the device is powered on, the application is loaded from the secondary storage device to random access memory (RAM). This process requires system resources and time to perform. System resource management is a primary concern in devices comprising limited system resources. In particular, television set-top boxes and related interactive televisions include limited system resources.

"Set-top boxes are often used as intermediary devices between a content source, such as a personal computer or a remote cable television provider, and a display device, such as a television. Often, set-top boxes include multiple applications including content menus and display parameter settings. When initially loading these applications into RAM or when switching from one application to another, overtaxed system resources may lead to excessive delays and/or system failures. Further, if a device with limited system resources is capable of receiving new or upgraded applications, such enhancements may lead to further delays and system failures."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "The present invention includes a device that stores a plurality of applications and a list of associations for those applications. The applications are preferably stored within a secondary memory of the device, and once launched each application is loaded into RAM. Preferably, the second memory is a non-volatile memory. Each application is preferably associated to one or more of the other applications. Preferably, no applications are launched when the device is powered on. A user selects an application, which is then launched by the device, thereby loading the application from the secondary memory to RAM. Whenever an application is determined to be associated with a currently active state application, and that associated application has yet to be loaded from secondary memory to RAM, the associated application is pre-launched such that the associated application is loaded into RAM, but is set to an inactive state.

"In one aspect of the present invention, a method optimizes system resources within an application device. The method includes setting a first application in an active state, selecting a second application related to the first application, wherein selecting the second application is performed by the application device, launching the second application, thereby setting the second application in an inactive state while the first application remains in the active state; selecting the second application for use, de-activating the first application, thereby setting the first application in the inactive state while the second application remains in the inactive state, and activating the second application, thereby setting the second application in an active state. Setting the first application in the active state can comprise actively processing the first application with a central processing unit (CPU) of the application device. Setting the first application can further comprise loading the first application from a secondary memory to a random access memory (RAM) of the application device prior to actively processing the first application. Launching the second application can comprise loading the second application from a secondary memory to a random access memory (RAM), thereby setting the second application in an inactive state within the RAM. The CPU does not actively process the first application while the first application is in the inactive state. Activating the second application can comprise the CPU actively processing the second application, thereby setting the second application in an active state. The CPU does not actively process the second application while the second application is in the inactive state. The method can further comprise selecting a third application related to the second application, wherein selecting the third application is performed by the application device, and launching the third application, thereby setting the third application in an inactive state while the second application remains in the active state. The method can further comprise selecting the third application for use, de-activating the second application, thereby setting the second application in the inactive state while the third application remains in the inactive state, and activating the third application, thereby setting the third application in an active state. The second application can be related to the first application based on a list of associations stored in a system file. The list of associations can be determined by technical relativity, user history relativity or a combination thereof.

"In another aspect of the present invention, a method optimizes system resources within an application device. The method includes powering on the application device, selecting a first application by a user launching the first application, thereby setting the first application in an inactive state, activating the first application, thereby setting the first application in an active state, selecting a second application related to the first application, wherein selecting the second application is performed by the application device, launching the second application, thereby setting the second application in an inactive state while the first application remains in the active state, selecting the second application by the user, de-activating the first application, thereby setting the first application in the inactive state while the second application remains in the inactive state, and activating the second application, thereby setting the second application in an active state. Launching the first application can comprise loading the first application from a secondary memory to a random access memory (RAM) of the application device, thereby setting the first application in an inactive state within the RAM. A central processing unit (CPU) of the application device does not actively process first application while the first application is in the inactive state. Activating the first application can comprise the CPU actively processing the first application, thereby setting the first application in an active state. A central processing unit (CPU) of the application device does not actively process the second application while the second application is in the inactive state. The second application can be related to the first application based on a list of associations stored in a system file. The list of associations can be determined by technical relativity, user history relativity or a combination thereof.

"In yet another aspect of the present invention, a method optimizes system resources within an application device. The method includes powering on an application device, selecting a first application by a user, launching the first application such that the first application is loaded from a secondary memory to a random access memory (RAM), thereby setting the first application in an inactive state within the RAM; activating the first application, selecting a second application by the user, de-activating the first application, thereby setting the first application in the inactive state, launching the second application such that the second application is loaded from a secondary memory to a random access memory (RAM), thereby setting the second application in an inactive state within the RAM, and activating the second application. A central processing unit (CPU) of the application device does not actively process the first application while the first application is in the inactive state. Activating the first application can comprise the CPU actively processing the first application, thereby setting the first application in an active state. A central processing unit (CPU) of the application device does not actively process the second application while the second application is in the inactive state. Activating the second application can comprise the CPU actively processing the second application, thereby setting the second application in an active state. The second application can be related to the first application based on a list of associations stored in a system file. The list of associations can be determined by technical relativity, user history relativity or a combination thereof.

"In still yet another aspect of the present invention, a device includes a processor, a system memory coupled to the processor, and a secondary memory coupled to the processor and to the system memory, wherein the secondary memory includes a plurality of applications such that in operation a first application is loaded from the secondary memory to the system memory and set to an active state, a second application related to the first application is selected by the processor, loaded from the secondary memory to the system memory, and set to an inactive state, and when a user selects the second application, the first application is de-activated to the inactive state while the second application remains in the inactive state, and the second application is then set to an active state. The device can further comprise a user interface to receive command instructions and application selections from the user. The processor actively processes the first application while the first application is set to the active state and the processor actively processes the second application while the second application is set to the active state. The processor does not actively process the first application while the first application is set to the inactive state and the processor does not actively process the second application while the second application is set to the inactive state. The secondary memory can include a system file comprising a list of associations, wherein the list of associations associates an application to one or more other applications within the plurality of applications. The processor can utilize the list of associations to select the second application related to the first application. The list of associations can be determined by technical relativity, user history, or a combination thereof.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"FIG. 1 illustrates an exemplary set-top box.

"FIG. 2 illustrates a first process of the present invention in which utilization of system resources is optimized.

"FIG. 3 illustrates a process in which there is no optimization of system resources.

"FIG. 4 illustrates a third and preferred process of the present invention in which utilization of system resources is optimized."

For additional information on this patent application, see: Nguyen, Phuong Viet; Garg, Ashish. Application Pre-Launch to Reduce User Interface Latency. Filed October 22, 2013 and posted February 20, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=439&p=9&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140213.PD.&OS=PD/20140213&RS=PD/20140213

Keywords for this news article include: Random Access Memory, Sony Electronics Inc.

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Source: Electronics Newsweekly


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