News Column

Patent Issued for Interrupt Latency Reduction

July 16, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Electronics Newsweekly -- Cypress Semiconductor Corporation (San Jose, CA) has been issued patent number 8769177, according to news reporting originating out of Alexandria, Virginia, by VerticalNews editors.

The patent's inventor is Wright, David G. (San Diego, CA).

This patent was filed on March 12, 2008 and was published online on July 1, 2014.

From the background information supplied by the inventors, news correspondents obtained the following quote: "Conventional microcontrollers typically operate at frequencies that are lower than the highest clock frequencies that are available within the device. A slower clock frequency is typically used to reduce power consumption by a central processing unit (CPU) of a microcontroller. Usually within a microcontroller there is a very fast master clock signal (e.g., 100 megahertz (MHz)) that is divided down to slower rates and distributed throughout its subunits. For example, in a typical microcontroller, the CPU may operate at only 12 MHz in order to reduce its power consumption. Note that when an interrupt is received by the CPU of the microcontroller, the CPU must complete its current task and then execute an interrupt service routine (ISR) corresponding to the received interrupt. Unfortunately, the slower clocked CPU takes longer to respond to an interrupt request. Therefore, by slowing the CPU's clock to help reduce power consumption, interrupt latency of the microcontroller is increased. It is noted that the interrupt latency is the time it takes the CPU to start executing the ISR once the interrupt is signaled. In certain applications that timing can be critical. One conventional technique for keeping that latency within an acceptable limit is to constantly operate the CPU at a higher clock frequency. However, the disadvantage of this conventional technique is an increase in power consumption by the CPU.

"As such, it is desirable to address one or more of the above issues."

Supplementing the background information on this patent, VerticalNews reporters also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent: "A method in accordance with one embodiment of the invention can include detecting an interrupt request during execution of an instruction by a processor of an integrated circuit. Additionally, a clock signal frequency can be changed that is received by the processor. An interrupt service routine can be executed that corresponds to the interrupt request."

For the URL and additional information on this patent, see: Wright, David G.. Interrupt Latency Reduction. U.S. Patent Number 8769177, filed March 12, 2008, and published online on July 1, 2014. Patent URL:

Keywords for this news article include: Electronics, Microcontroller, Cypress Semiconductor Corporation.

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Source: Electronics Newsweekly

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