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Researchers Submit Patent Application, "Linear LED Array for Digital Printing Apparatus", for Approval

May 14, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Electronics Newsweekly -- From Washington, D.C., VerticalNews journalists report that a patent application by the inventor van der Gucht, Romain Jan Victor Paul (Lint, BE), filed on October 7, 2013, was made available online on May 1, 2014.

No assignee for this patent application has been made.

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present invention relates to the field of digital printing, in particular to linear LED arrays for use in digital printing apparatus.

"In known systems, an array of light emitting semiconductor components is supplied with information via a limited number of 8-bit parallel input interfaces, each input interface supplying a set of adjacent light emitting semiconductor components with light pattern data, the data being shifted through from one component to the next (a sort of store-and-forward scheme). Although this arrangement requires minimal wiring, it severely limits the achievable data rate.

"It is an object of embodiments of the present invention to provide a linear array of light emitting semiconductor components that at least partially overcomes this disadvantage."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent application: "According to an aspect of the present invention, there is provided a linear array of light emitting semiconductor components for use in a digital printing apparatus, each light emitting semiconductor component comprising a driver and at least one light emitting device, the array comprising a plurality of data buses respectively connecting to a first plurality of subsets of the light emitting semiconductor components, the first plurality of subsets forming a first partition of the light emitting semiconductor components; the array further comprising a plurality of auxiliary buses respectively connecting to a second plurality of subsets of the light emitting semiconductor components, the second plurality of subsets forming a second partition of the light emitting semiconductor components; wherein the first partition and the second partition are chosen such that each one of the light emitting semiconductor components can be uniquely identified by the subset of the first partition and the subset of the second partition to which it belongs; wherein the plurality of data buses is configured to supply instructions to the first plurality of subsets of the light emitting semiconductor components; and wherein each of the light emitting semiconductor components is configured to extract instructions on the basis of its membership of a particular subset according to the second partition.

"The term 'instructions', as used herein, is used broadly to designate any kind of information that may have to be sent to the light emitting semiconductor devices of the array. This information includes without limitation address allocation information, light pattern information, management information, and requests to return specific operational data.

"It is an advantage of the present invention that it reduces the necessary wiring to operate a linear array of light emitting semiconductor components. While bus topologies and star topologies each have their drawbacks, the present invention achieves an advantageous tradeoff by using two mutually orthogonal sets of buses.

"Thanks to the reduction in the required number of wires, and elimination of the requirement of passing on data from one driver to the next, the improved array according to the present invention allows for the production of array modules which may be coupled end-to-end without leaving any gaps between them. In this way, a light emitting array can be assembled with a substantially greater total length than what was possible with previously known techniques. These modularly composed arrays allow for greater printing widths, for instance up to widths in the order of 1 m, while maintaining high printing speeds.

"In an embodiment of the linear array according to the present invention, the plurality of auxiliary buses is adapted to signal an active state or an inactive state, the plurality of auxiliary buses is configured to cycle through a sequence of states in which only one of the plurality of auxiliary buses is signaling the active state, and the plurality of data buses is configured to supply an instruction for a particular light emitting semiconductor component in synchronization with the active state signal of the auxiliary bus to which the particular light emitting semiconductor component is connected.

"In this embodiment, the auxiliary buses are used as 'chip select' buses. It is an advantage of this embodiment that the auxiliary bus can be implemented as a relatively simple low-speed bus, while retaining the wiring reduction advantages of the invention.

"In a particular embodiment, the plurality of data buses is further configured to supply respective address allocation instructions to the light emitting semiconductor components in synchronization with the active state signal of the respective auxiliary bus to which the light emitting semiconductor components are connected; the light emitting semiconductor components are adapted to retain an address allocated by the respective address allocation instructions; and instructions subsequent to the address allocation instructions include an address and are transmitted independently of the active state signal, each of the light emitting semiconductor components being configured to extract instructions by comparing the included address to the retained address.

"It is a further advantage of this particular embodiment that the auxiliary buses are not required for sending instructions to the light emitting semiconductor components after the initial address assignment stage. This makes the auxiliary buses available for other uses, such as serving as a return path for bidirectional communication (establishing a 'dual simplex' channel).

"According to an aspect of the present invention, there is provided a digital printing apparatus comprising at least one array of light emitting semiconductor components as described above.

"According to an aspect of the present invention, there is provided a method for transmitting instructions from a controller to a linear array of light emitting semiconductor components in a digital printing apparatus, each light emitting semiconductor component comprising a driver and at least one light emitting device, wherein the array comprises a plurality of data buses respectively connecting to a first plurality of subsets of the light emitting semiconductor components, the first plurality of subsets forming a first partition of the light emitting semiconductor components; wherein the array comprises a plurality of auxiliary buses respectively connecting to a second plurality of subsets of the light emitting semiconductor components, the second plurality of subsets forming a second partition of the light emitting semiconductor components; and wherein the first partition and the second partition are chosen such that each one of the light emitting semiconductor components can be uniquely identified by the subset of the first partition and the subset of the second partition to which it belongs; the method comprising: supplying instructions to the first plurality of subsets of the light emitting semiconductor components over the plurality of data buses; and extracting instructions at the light emitting semiconductor components on the basis of their membership of a particular subset according to the second partition.

"In an embodiment of the method according to the present invention, the plurality of auxiliary buses is adapted to signal an active state or an inactive state, and the method further comprises: cycling the plurality of auxiliary buses through a sequence of states in which only one of the plurality of auxiliary buses is signaling the active state; and supplying an instruction for a particular light emitting semiconductor component over the plurality of data buses in synchronization with the active state signal of the auxiliary bus to which the particular light emitting semiconductor component is connected.

"In a particular embodiment, the method further comprises: supplying address allocation instructions for particular light emitting semiconductor components over the plurality of data buses in synchronization with the active state signal of the auxiliary bus to which the particular light emitting semiconductor components are connected; retaining an address allocated by the address allocation instructions at the light emitting semiconductor components; transmitting instructions subsequent to the address allocation instructions over the plurality of data buses independently of the active state signal, the subsequent instructions including the retained address; and extracting instructions at the light emitting semiconductor components by comparing the included address to the retained address.

"According to an aspect of the present invention, there is provided a computer program product comprising code means configured to cause a processor to carry out the method as described above.

"The technical effect and advantages of the digital printing apparatus, method, and computer program product according to embodiments of the present invention correspond, mutatis mutandis, to those of the corresponding embodiments of the linear array of light emitting semiconductor components according to the present invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"These and other technical effects and advantages of embodiments of the invention will be described in more detail in connection with the accompanying figures, in which:

"FIG. 1 presents a general digital printing system, in which the linear LED array according to the present invention can be used;

"FIG. 2 presents a linear LED array according to an embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 3 provides an exemplary instruction signaling time line representing an embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 4 provides an exemplary address signaling time line representing an embodiment of the present invention; and

"FIG. 5 provides a flow chart representing an embodiment of the present invention."

For additional information on this patent application, see: van der Gucht, Romain Jan Victor Paul. Linear LED Array for Digital Printing Apparatus. Filed October 7, 2013 and posted May 1, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=4151&p=84&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140424.PD.&OS=PD/20140424&RS=PD/20140424

Keywords for this news article include: Patents, Electronics, Semiconductor.

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Source: Electronics Newsweekly


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