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Researchers Submit Patent Application, "Caching Method and Caching System Using Dual Disks", for Approval

August 12, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Information Technology Newsweekly -- From Washington, D.C., VerticalNews journalists report that a patent application by the inventors Wu, Po-Wei (New Taipei City, TW); Chen, Hsin-Yu (New Taipei City, TW); Chang, Hsung-Pin (New Taipei City, TW); Chang, Ta-Wei (New Taipei City, TW), filed on April 16, 2013, was made available online on July 31, 2014.

The patent's assignee is Acer Incorporated.

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present invention is directed to a caching method and a caching system and more particularly, to a caching method and a caching system applied in an electronic apparatus having dual disks.

"With the development of the semiconductor technology, capacity of a memory has dramatically increased, and a flash memory is particularly suitable to be used in a portable electronic apparatus for having characteristics, such as non-volatility, low power consumption, or small volume. Therefore, in recent years, a NAND flash memory is gradually used as a storage medium of a solid-state drive (SSD) in considering the volume.

"The special features of the SSD lie in replacing the mechanical structure of a hard disk drive (HDD) by utilizing the characteristics of flash memory and performing data accesses by writing and erasing memory blocks. Thus, the efficiency of reading from and writing into a storage apparatus may be significantly improved. Comparing with the traditional storage apparatus, the SSD has advantages, such as low power consumption, shock resistance, low temperature resistance and high stability. Under the consideration of volume, the SSD has gradually become the main data storage apparatus adopted by the portable electronic apparatus.

"However, due to the expensive price, a capacity of the SSD capable of being equipped by a consumer electronics product in the market is quite limited. Thus, a dual-disk system composed of a HDD with a high capacity and a SSD with a small capacity has gradually become popular. Therein, the main data accesses are still from the HDD, and the SSD is used as a 'cache space' and a 'data storage region in a sleep mode'. Accordingly, on one hand, an average data access speed of a PC platform is dramatically improved, while on the other hand, the time of resuming from the sleep mode is effectively shortened. In order to effectively use the small-capacity SSD, it is necessary to design a dual-disk system capable of being implemented and has high efficiency according to the features of the currently existing operation systems."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "Accordingly, the present invention is directed to a caching method and a caching system using dual disks capable of improving efficiency of data access and system resume.

"The present invention is directed to a caching method using dual disks, which is adapted to an electronic apparatus having a first storage unit and a second storage unit, wherein an access speed of the second storage unit than that of the first storage unit. In the method, a data access to the first storage unit is monitored, a data category of the data in an access address of the data access is identified, and whether the data category belongs to a cache category is determined. If the data category belongs to the cache category, an access count of the data in the access address being accessed is accumulated, and whether the accumulated access count is over a threshold is determined. If the access count is over the threshold, the data in the access address is cached to the second storage unit.

"The present invention is directed to a caching system using dual disks, which includes a monitoring module, an identification module and a cache module. The monitoring module is configured to monitor a data access to a first storage unit. The identification module is configured to identify a data category of data in an access address of the data access and determine whether the data category belongs to a cache category. If the data category belongs to the cache category, the cache module accumulates an access count of the data in the access address being accessed and if the accumulated access count is over the threshold, the data in the access address is cached to a second storage unit. An access speed of the second storage unit is higher than that of the first storage unit.

"To sum up, in the caching method and the caching system using dual disks of the present invention, data accessed by an operation system is categorized, and only background processes are cached to a solid-state drive (SSD) with discarding foreground applications, such that the limited cache space is efficiently utilized. Additionally, in the present invention, when the system resumes from a sleep mode, the background processes are firstly loaded, and then other data is loaded until the desktop is resumed. As such, the time of resuming the desktop may be effectively shortened.

"In order to make the aforementioned and other features and advantages of the present invention more comprehensible, several embodiments accompanied with figures are described in detail below.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"The accompanying drawings are included to provide a further understanding of the present invention, and are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification. The drawings illustrate embodiments of the present invention and, together with the description, serve to explain the principles of the present invention.

"FIG. 1A and FIG. 1B respectively illustrate an application list and a process list according to an embodiment of the present invention.

"FIG. 2 is a schematic diagram illustrating a system using dual disks according to an embodiment of the present invention.

"FIG. 3 is a block diagram illustrating a caching system using dual disks according to an embodiment of the present invention.

"FIG. 4 is a flowchart illustrating a caching method using dual disks according to an embodiment of the present invention.

"FIG. 5 illustrates an application list and a process list according to an embodiment of the present invention.

"FIG. 6 is a flowchart illustrating a caching method using dual disks according to an embodiment of the present invention."

For additional information on this patent application, see: Wu, Po-Wei; Chen, Hsin-Yu; Chang, Hsung-Pin; Chang, Ta-Wei. Caching Method and Caching System Using Dual Disks. Filed April 16, 2013 and posted July 31, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=456&p=10&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140724.PD.&OS=PD/20140724&RS=PD/20140724

Keywords for this news article include: Acer Incorporated, Information Technology, Information and Data Storage.

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Source: Information Technology Newsweekly


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