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"Image Forming Apparatus That Buffers Data in a Storage Device and Reduces Delays in Process" in Patent Application Approval Process

August 26, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Information Technology Newsweekly -- A patent application by the inventor Hara, Hiroyuki (Osaka, JP), filed on April 14, 2014, was made available online on August 14, 2014, according to news reporting originating from Washington, D.C., by VerticalNews correspondents.

This patent application is assigned to KYOCERA Document Solutions Inc.

The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present invention relates to an image forming apparatus that buffers data in a storage device.

"A typical image forming apparatus such as a copier or a multifunction peripheral (MFP) includes a data processing device that performs various types of image processing. To buffer image data, the data processing device stores the image data for one page in a file within a storage device such as a hard disk drive (HDD). In some embodiments, the image data may be stored using a write-side program (for example, an image processing program). Further, the data processing device may provide a read-side program with a file identifier corresponding to a given file. Then, the read-side program may use the file identifier to locate the file and read out the image data.

"In addition, there is technology for providing a first-in first-out (FIFO) buffer when data is written to the HDD, in which the data is written to the FIFO buffer in one thread and is written from the FIFO buffer to the HDD in another thread.

"As described above, data is generally read out using predetermined units in the storage device, such as a page in a document. As such, writing and reading of the data are sequentially performed. Further, before the writing of the predetermined unit of data is completed, the data cannot be read out, which may cause a delay in process associated with the buffering of such data."

In addition to the background information obtained for this patent application, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent application: "The present disclosure relates to an image forming apparatus capable of reducing a delay in processing. In some embodiments, the delay may be associated with the buffering of data in a storage device and the image forming device may reduce the delay associated with the buffering.

"According to one aspect of the present disclosure, an image forming apparatus may include: a storage controller configured to: (i) write image data on one page to a storage device, wherein the image data comprises a plurality of pieces of band data and (ii) read out the plurality of pieces of band data from the storage device; and a processor configured to control the storage controller. The processor is configured to: (a) generate a write-side process that causes the storage controller to write the plurality of pieces of band data (b) generate a read-side process that causes the storage controller to read out the plurality of pieces of band data; generate a write-side thread by the write-side process; (d) generate a read-side thread and a file read thread by the read-side process; (e) based on the write-side process, notify the read-side process of an identifier of a storage area within the storage device, (f) based on the write-side thread, cause the storage controller to sequentially write the plurality of pieces of band data; (g) based on the read-side process and the read-side thread, request the file read thread to cause the storage controller to sequentially read out the plurality of pieces of band data from the identifier of the from the storage area; and (h) based on the file read thread, cause the storage controller to sequentially read out the plurality of pieces of band data, where based on a request for reading of one of the plurality of pieces of band data, the file read thread is configured to cause the storage controller to read out the one of the plurality of pieces of band data. One or more of the plurality of pieces of band data is subsequent to the one of the plurality of pieces of band data.

"According to another aspect of the present disclosure, an image forming apparatus may include: a storage controller configured to: (i) write image data on one page to a storage device, wherein the image data comprises a plurality of pieces of band data, and (ii) read out the plurality of pieces of band data from the storage device; and a processor configured to control the storage controller. The processor is configured to: (a) generate a write-side process that causes the storage controller to write the plurality of pieces of band data; (b) generate a read-side process that causes the storage controller to read out the plurality of pieces of band data; generate a write-side thread and a file write thread by the write-side process; (d) generate a read-side thread and a file read thread by the read-side process; (e) based on the write-side process, cause the write-side thread to notify the read-side thread of an identifier of a storage area within the storage device, then sequentially queue, with the write-side thread, write requests for each of the plurality of pieces of band data in a queue system; (f) based on the file write thread, cause the storage controller to write the plurality of pieces of band data in order of the queued write requests; (g) based on the read-side process and the read-side thread, sequentially queue read requests for each of the plurality of pieces of band data in the queue system when the identifier is received; and (h) based on the file read thread, cause the storage controller to read the plurality of pieces of band data in order of the queued read requests. Based on reading of one of the plurality of pieces of band data, the file read thread is configured to cause the storage controller to read out the one of the plurality of pieces of band data, where one or more of the plurality of pieces of band data that is subsequent to the one of the plurality of pieces of band data.

"According to yet another aspect of the present disclosure, an image forming apparatus may include: a storage controller configured to: (i) write image data on one page to a storage device, wherein the image data comprises a plurality of pieces of band data and (ii) to read out the plurality of pieces of band data from the storage device; and a processor configured to control the storage controller. The processor is configured to: (a) generate a write-side process that causes the storage controller to write the plurality of pieces of band data; (b) generate a read-side process that causes the storage controller to read out the plurality of pieces of band data; generate a write-side thread and a file write thread by the write-side process; (d) generate a read-side thread and a file read thread by the read-side process; (e) based on the write-side process, store one piece of band data in a memory; (f) based on the write-side thread, generate an event at each time a write request for one piece of band data is queued in a queue system; (g) based on the read-side process and the read-side thread, delete each of the plurality of pieces of band data from the memory when writing of the each of the plurality of pieces of band data to the storage device is completed; (h) based on sequentially performing queued read requests for the plurality of pieces of band data, if one of the plurality of pieces of band data to be read out exists on the memory, cause the storage controller to read out the one of the plurality of pieces of band data, and if none of the plurality of pieces of band data exists on the memory, cause the storage controller to read out each of the plurality of pieces of band data from the storage device; and (i) based on reading of one of the plurality of pieces of band data requested by the read-side thread, cause the storage controller to read out the one of the plurality of pieces of band data, and where one or more of the plurality of pieces of band data is subsequent to the one of the plurality of pieces of band data.

"Additional features and advantages are described herein, and which will be apparent from the following detailed description and the figures.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

"In the accompanying drawings:

"FIG. 1 shows a block diagram illustrating a configuration of an image forming apparatus according to a first embodiment of the present disclosure;

"FIG. 2 shows a diagram illustrating a structure of data handled by a data processing circuit according to the first embodiment;

"FIG. 3 shows a block diagram illustrating a configuration of a main controller according to the first embodiment;

"FIG. 4 shows a flowchart of an operation of a write-side process according to the first embodiment;

"FIG. 5 shows a flowchart of an operation of a read-side process according to the first embodiment;

"FIG. 6 shows a sequence diagram illustrating a flow of an operation of a file read thread according to the first embodiment;

"FIG. 7 shows a sequence diagram illustrating a flow of the operation of the read-side process according to the first embodiment;

"FIG. 8 shows a sequence diagram illustrating a flow of an operation of a read-side process in a case where the first embodiment is not applied;

"FIG. 9 shows a block diagram illustrating a configuration of a main controller of an image forming apparatus according to a second embodiment of the present disclosure;

"FIG. 10 shows a flowchart of an operation of a write-side thread according to the second embodiment;

"FIG. 11 shows a diagram illustrating a shared memory area within a queue system according to the second embodiment;

"FIG. 12 shows a flowchart of an operation of a file write thread according to the second embodiment;

"FIG. 13 shows a flowchart of an operation of a read-side thread according to the second embodiment;

"FIG. 14 shows flowchart of an operation of a file read thread according to the second embodiment;

"FIG. 15 shows sequence diagram illustrating a flow of the operation of the read performance thread according to the second embodiment;

"FIG. 16 shows a sequence diagram illustrating a flow of an operation of a read-side process according to the second embodiment;

"FIG. 17 shows a sequence diagram illustrating a flow of an operation of a read-side process in a case where the second embodiment is not applied;

"FIG. 18 shows a flowchart of an operation of a write-side thread of an image forming apparatus according to a third embodiment of the present disclosure;

"FIG. 19 shows a flowchart of an operation of a file read thread according to the third embodiment; and

"FIG. 20 shows a diagram illustrating a method of reading band data from a RAM of the image forming apparatus according to the third embodiment."

URL and more information on this patent application, see: Hara, Hiroyuki. Image Forming Apparatus That Buffers Data in a Storage Device and Reduces Delays in Process. Filed April 14, 2014 and posted August 14, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=4853&p=98&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140807.PD.&OS=PD/20140807&RS=PD/20140807

Keywords for this news article include: Information Technology, KYOCERA Document Solutions Inc, Information and Data Processing.

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Source: Information Technology Newsweekly


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