Researchers Submit Patent Application, "Data Transmitting Device, Image Forming Apparatus, Data Transmission Controlling Method, and Recording Medium Storing Data Transmission Control Program", for Ap
The patent's assignee is
News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Recently, image forming apparatus such as copiers, facsimiles and printers, image forming apparatus using an image reading device such as scanners, and electronic apparatus such as computers and home electric appliances are downsized, and boards therein are typically connected with each other using a flexible flat cable (FFC). Since FFCs are thin and have good flexibility, FFCs greatly contribute to downsizing of such apparatuses.
"Particularly, in electrophotographic image forming apparatus, a light emitting diode (LED) array head, in which plural LED arrays each including a line of LEDs are arranged in the main scanning direction, is typically used as a light source of the image forming apparatus. In this regard, a control board of the image forming apparatus is typically connected with each LED array head using a FFC. Therefore, the number of the FFCs is equal to the number of the LED array heads. Since the LED array heads are arranged in parallel in the main scanning direction and the costs of the FFC increases as the number of folded portions of the FFC increases, it is preferable to arrange the FFCs in an efficient manner in order to downsize the apparatus while reducing costs thereof. In attempting to arrange the FFCs in an efficient manner, JP-2010-217381-A discloses a technique in that FFCs are arranged while overlaid until the FFCs reach positions at which the FFCs are connected to the corresponding LED array heads.
"Recently, there is a need for high-speed and high-definition electric apparatus such as image forming apparatus. Specifically, there is a need for an image forming apparatus which can form high definition images at a high speed while having a high image reading speed and a high image processing speed. In such image forming apparatus, as the image forming speed increases, the data transmission speed also increases.
"However, the above-mentioned technique has a drawback in that since FFCs are arranged while overlaid, a cross talk problem is caused when data transmission is performed, and thereby data are mistakenly transmitted.
"Specifically, the thus arranged FFCs while overlaid causes the cross talk problem. The cross talk problem is such that whenever a signal is sent (driven) through a wire in a FFC, a magnet field is generated around the wire. In this regard, when another wire is arranged close by the wire, the magnetic fields generated by the two wires interact with each other, and cross join of energy occurs between the signals flowing through the two wires.
"When such a cross talk problem is caused, the signals flowing the FFC are adversely affected thereby, and it becomes difficult to perform accurate data transmission.
"Particularly, in an electrophotographic image forming apparatus, in which LED array heads are connected with a control board using FFCs, a memory storing correction data, which are used for correcting variations of LEDs, is typically provided in an irradiating head including the LED array heads. When the control board sends a lighting signal to a LED, the control board also transmits the correction data at the same time before printing. In this regard, if the correction data are not accurately transmitted, variations among the LEDs cannot be corrected, thereby causing a problem in that an abnormal image such as vertical strip-shaped images is formed in an image."
As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "This patent specification describes a novel data transmitting device. One example of the data transmitting device includes plural bundles of signal lines, each of which includes flatly arranged plural signal lines and which are overlaid in such a manner that surfaces of the bundles of signal lines are contacted with each other while the signal lines extend in the same direction, wherein signal transmission and reception are performed through the signal lines; a transmission timing adjuster to adjust transmission timing of signal for each of the plural bundles of signal lines; and a transmission timing controller to perform time division control such that the transmission timing adjuster adjusts the transmission timing under the time division control for each of the plural bundles of signal lines.
"This patent specification further describes a novel image forming apparatus. One example of the image forming apparatus includes plural LED arrays to emit light beams from LEDs thereof; plural bundles of signal lines; and the above-mentioned data transmitting device to transmit image data for controlling lighting of each of the LEDs of the plural LED arrays and correction data for use in correcting the image data through the plural bundles of signal lines.
"This patent specification further describes a novel data transmission controlling method for controlling data transmission and reception using plural bundles of signal lines, each of which includes flatly arranged plural bundles of signal lines and which are overlaid in such a manner that surfaces of the bundles of signal lines are contacted with each other while the signal lines extend in the same direction. One example of the data transmission controlling method includes adjusting transmission timing of signals, which are to be transmitted through the plural bundles of signal lines, for each of the plural bundles of signal lines; and performing time division control such that the signal transmission timing is adjusted under the time division control for each of the plural bundles of signal lines.
"This patent specification further describes a novel non-transitory recording medium. One example of the non-transitory recording medium stores computer instructions, which, when executed by a processor, cause the processor to perform the data transmission controlling method mentioned above.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS
"A more complete appreciation of aspects of the invention and many of the attendant advantage thereof will be readily obtained as the same become better understood by reference to the following detailed description when considered in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein:
"FIG. 1 is a schematic view illustrating an example of an image forming apparatus according to an embodiment;
"FIG. 2 is a block diagram illustrating the image forming apparatus;
"FIG. 3 is a block diagram illustrating an image writing controller and an irradiator of the image forming apparatus;
"FIG. 4 is a perspective view illustrating a main portion of the image forming apparatus including a metal box;
"FIG. 5 is a schematic view illustrating backside of the metal box;
"FIG. 6 is a side view illustrating the main portion of the image forming apparatus;
"FIG. 7 is a view for describing signals flowing through overlaid FFCs;
"FIG. 8 is a view for describing how data signals cause cross talk;
"FIG. 9 is a flowchart illustrating a data transmission controlling process;
"FIG. 10 is a flowchart illustrating a data transmission controlling process in which signals of two color images are transmitted at the same time through two bundles of signal lines which are farthest from each other;
"FIG. 11 is a flowchart illustrating a data transmission controlling process in which transmission of signals of two color images is sequentially performed;
"FIG. 12 is a flowchart illustrating a data transmission controlling process in which signals of all color images are transmitted at the same time and the signals of one color image which are most easily affected by cross talk are then transmitted again; and
"FIG. 13 is a schematic view illustrating another example of the image forming apparatus, which uses an intermediate transfer belt."
For additional information on this patent application, see: KAWANABE, Motohiro; MIYADERA, Tatsuya;
Keywords for this news article include: Electronics, Data Transmission,
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