News Column

Patent Application Titled "Power Saving Operating Method for and Electronic Device" Published Online

August 21, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Computer Weekly News -- According to news reporting originating from Washington, D.C., by VerticalNews journalists, a patent application by the inventor Lin, Margaret Peyi (New Taipei City, TW), filed on May 17, 2013, was made available online on August 7, 2014.

No assignee for this patent application has been made.

Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The invention relates to an operating method and an electronic device, and more particularly to a power-saving operating method for a touch device and an electronic device using the same.

"Power management is one of the most important topics for common desktop computers as well as portable peripheral equipments (such as notebook computer) which relies on power supplied by batteries. A crucial key for power management is to effectively reduce power usage of inactive equipments with respect to operating conditions of computer devices and peripheral equipments, so as to improve efficiency and extend lifetime of batteries.

"Conventional computers generally adopt an advanced power management (APM) specification, such specification is an application programming interface developed by Microsoft and Intel for monitors, which can be used to store a power supply setting between personal computers and monitors having specific batteries. A major concern to the APM lies where it is mainly controlled by a firmware of a basic input/output System (BIOS), and power may not be effectively utilized with changes in operating processes. The APM may only guess current activities of a user based on interrupt request (IRQ) and input/output port, (I/O Port). Therefore, it is difficult to meet all requirements in effectively saving power and extending lifetime of batteries.

"In order to maintain a common power management interface between operating systems and hardware, an advanced configuration and power interface (ACPI) standard has been developed to improve efficiency of power management based on interactions between the user and the operating system by managing power in response to commands from an operating system instead of the BIOS. That is, once the operating system is informed of certain functions in the computer being inactive, the functions may be automatically terminated to reduce power consumption. The ACPI interface may providing a proper power and a host working frequency according information such as motherboard temperature, fan speed and voltage of the power supply detected by specific hardware, so as to effectively distribute and transmit power to system devices thereby achieving power-saving while maintaining working efficiency.

"Under the power management of ACPI, most of devices not being operated under a working condition may enter a sleep state (D1 to D3 states) which is relatively with less power consumption, so as to reduce power consumption. However, in order to support a wake function, the devices merely reduce power consumption rather than turn off power entirely. A total power consumption to the devices in above-said condition may also be a burden that affects lifetime of the battery. Therefore, overall lifetime of the battery may be further extended by saving power consumption in the condition."

In addition to obtaining background information on this patent application, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent application: "The invention is directed to a power-saving operating method and an electronic device, which can reduce power consumption of a touch device when the touch device is idle.

"The invention provides a power-saving operating method for an electronic device having a processor, a control chip and a connection port. The control chip further includes an interrupt pin, the electronic device couples to a touch device through the connection port and the interrupt pin, and the control chip couples to the connection port. The method includes: informing a basic input/output system through the interrupt pin of the control chip by the touch device to disable the connection port when the touch device is idle for over an idle time, determining whether the processor receives at least one touch signal from the touch device within a first predetermined time, enabling the connection port when a number of the at least one touch signal from the touch device received by the processor within the first predetermined time is not less than a first predetermined amount, and interrupting a reading operation for reading the connection port and making the touch device enter a power-saving mode when the number of the at least touch signal from the touch device received by the processor within the first predetermined time is less than the first predetermined amount or none of the at least signal is received within the first predetermined time.

"According to the power-saving operating method in an embodiment of the invention, the step of informing a basic input/output system through the interrupt pin of the control chip by the touch device to disable the connection port when the touch device is idle for over an idle time, further includes: transmitting an interrupt signal from the touch device to the processor through the interrupt pin of the control chip, and disabling the connection port by the BIOS according to the interrupt signal received by the processor.

"According to the power-saving operating method in an embodiment of the invention, the processor executes an operating system, and the step of disabling the connection port by the BIOS includes: calling an advanced configuration and power interface source language of the basic input/output system by an advanced configuration and power interface driver of the operating system according to the interrupt signal received by the processor to make the basic input/output system disable the connection port.

"According to the power-saving operating method in an embodiment of the invention, after the step of making the touch device enter the power-saving mode, the power-saving operating method further includes: receiving a wake-up signal, switching the touch device from the power-saving mode back to an normal operating mode according to the wake-up signal, informing the basic input/output system through the interrupt pin of the control chip by the touch device to enable the connection port, determining whether the processor receives the at least one touch signal from the touch device within a second predetermined time, disabling the connection port by the processor when the number of the at least one touch signal from the touch device received by the processor within the second predetermined time is less than a second predetermined amount or none of the at least one touch signal is received within the second predetermined time, and re-executing the reading operation on the connection port by the processor and writing a data input by the touch device by the processor when the number of the at least touch signal from the touch device received by the processor within the second predetermined time is not less than the second predetermined amount.

"According to the power-saving operating method in an embodiment of the invention, the control chip includes a platform controller hub.

"According to the power-saving operating method in an embodiment of the invention, the interrupt pin includes a general purpose I/O.

"The invention provides an electronic device having a connection port, a control chip, a memory unit and a processor. The connection port is coupled to a touch device. The control chip has an interrupt pin, the electronic device couples to a touch device through the connection port and the interrupt pin, and the control chip couples to the connection port. The memory unit stores a basic input/out system (BIOS). The touch device transmits an interrupt signal to the processor through the interrupt pin of the control chip when the touch device is idle for over an idle time, and the processor executes the basic input/output system to disable the connection port according to the received interrupt signal. Whether at least one touch signal from the touch device is received within a first predetermined time is then determined. The BIOS is executed to enable the connection port when a number of the at least one touch signal from the touch device received within the first predetermined is not less than a first predetermined amount. A reading operation for reading the connection port is interrupted and the touch device enters a power-saving mode when the number of at least one touch signal from the touch device received within the first predetermined time is less than the first predetermined amount or none of the at least one signal is received within the first predetermined time.

"According to the electronic device in an embodiment of the invention, the processor executing the basic input/output system to disable the connection port further includes: calling an advanced configuration and power interface source language of the basic input/output system by an advanced configuration and power interface driver of an operating system executed by the processor according to the interrupt signal received by the processor to make the basic input/output system disable the connection port.

"According to the electronic device in an embodiment of the invention, after the touch device enters the power-saving mode, the electronic device further includes: the touch device is switched from the power-saving mode back to an normal operating mode according to the wake-up signal, a resuming signal is transmitted from the touch device to the processor through the interrupt pin of the control chip, and the BIOS is executed by the processor to enable the connection port according to the resuming signal, determining whether the at least one touch signal from the touch device is received within a second predetermined time by the processor, disabling the connection port by the processor when a number of the at least touch signal received from the touch device within the second predetermined time is less than a second predetermined amount or none of the at least one touch signal is received within the second predetermined time, and re-executing the reading operation on the connection port and writing a data input by the touch device by the processor when the number of the at least one touch signal received from the touch device within the second predetermined time is not less than the second predetermined amount.

"According to the electronic device in an embodiment of the invention, the control chip includes a platform controller hub.

"According to the electronic device in an embodiment of the invention, the interrupt pin includes a general purpose I/O.

"Accordingly, the invention provides the interrupt pin on the control chip to be used as a bridge for transmitting control signals between the electronic device and the touch device. When the touch device is idle, the interrupt signal is transmitted to the processor through the interrupt pin, and with the operating system executed by the processor under the ACPI standard, the BIOS is triggered to disable the connection port between the touch device and the electronic device, so as to switch the power state of the touch device from the normal operating mode to the power-saving mode thereby reducing power consumption of the touch device.

"To make the above features and advantages of the invention more comprehensible, several embodiments accompanied with drawings are described in detail as follows.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"FIG. 1 illustrates an electronic device according to an embodiment of the invention.

"FIG. 2 is a process flowchart illustrating a power-saving operating method according to an embodiment of the invention.

"FIG. 3 is a process flowchart illustrating a process to disable a connection port according to an embodiment of the invention.

"FIG. 4 is a process flowchart illustrating a process of a BIOS to disable a connection port according to an embodiment of the invention.

"FIG. 5 is a process flowchart illustrating a power-saving operating method according to an embodiment of the invention."

For more information, see this patent application: Lin, Margaret Peyi. Power Saving Operating Method for and Electronic Device. Filed May 17, 2013 and posted August 7, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=426&p=9&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140731.PD.&OS=PD/20140731&RS=PD/20140731

Keywords for this news article include: Patents.

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Source: Computer Weekly News


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