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Patent Issued for Computer Apparatus with Switchable Input Output System

September 11, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Computer Weekly News -- From Alexandria, Virginia, VerticalNews journalists report that a patent by the inventors Fang, Lan-Lan (Shanghai, CN); Liu, Shih-Hao (Taipei, TW), filed on April 7, 2009, was published online on August 26, 2014.

The patent's assignee for patent number 8819400 is Inventec Corporation (Taipei, TW).

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present invention related to a computer apparatus. More particularly, the present invention related to a computer apparatus coupling to an external sub-board of an intelligent platform management interface (IPMI).

"With advent of the digital age, computer apparatus have become indispensable tools in people's daily life. To meet daily utilization demands of the computer apparatus, peripherals capable of coupling to the computer apparatus are developed. Correspondingly, the computer apparatus must provide a plurality of different connection interfaces (for example, a universal serial bus (USB) interface, a network interface card (NI) and a keyboard/mouse switch, etc.) for connecting to the peripherals.

"However, since not all of the peripherals used by the users are the same. Therefore, it is quite difficult to provide a basic input output system (BIOS) to support all of the peripherals. If the provided BIOS which supports fixed peripherals, utilization of the computer apparatus is lack of flexibility and limit a performance of the computer apparatus."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "The present invention is directed to a computer apparatus, in which an inbuilt BIOS or an external input output system of an external sub-board can be switched for utilization, so as to improve a utilization flexibility of the computer apparatus.

"The present invention provides a computer apparatus including a main board and an external sub-board. The main board includes a connector, a management chip, a first BIOS and a selector. The management chip is coupled to the connector, and generates a detecting signal. The first BIOS is coupled to the management chip, and the selector is coupled to the first BIOS and the management chip, and receives the detecting signal. The external sub-board is coupled to the main board through the connector, and the external sub-board includes an external input output system. The management chip detects a coupling state of the main board and the external sub-board to generate the detecting signal. The selector enables one of the first BIOS and the external input output system, and disables another one of the first BIOS and the external input output system according to the detecting signal.

"In an embodiment of the present invention, when the management chip detects that the external sub-board is coupled to the main board, the management chip enables the external input output system, and disables the first BIOS.

"In an embodiment of the present invention, when the management chip detects that the external sub-board is not coupled to the main board, the management chip enables the first BIOS.

"In an embodiment of the present invention, the management chip is a chip set including a north bridge chip and a south bridge chip, wherein the south bridge chip is coupled to the north bridge chip and the first BIOS.

"In an embodiment of the present invention, the main board of the computer apparatus further includes a central processor unit coupled to the north bridge chip.

"In an embodiment of the present invention, the management chip is a baseboard management controller.

"In an embodiment of the present invention, the main board of the computer apparatus further includes a central processor unit, a chip set and a second BIOS. The chip set is coupled to the central processor unit and the baseboard management controller, and the second BIOS is coupled to the chip set.

"In an embodiment of the present invention, the second BIOS is a flash memory with a serial peripheral interface.

"In an embodiment of the present invention, the first BIOS and the external input output system are respectively a flash memory of a serial peripheral interface.

"In an embodiment of the present invention, the external sub-board is an intelligent platform management interface (IPMI) card.

"In an embodiment of the present invention, the selector includes a switch and a pull-up circuit, wherein the switch is controlled by the detecting signal, and one end of the switch is coupled to the first BIOS, and another end of the switch is coupled to the connector. The pull-up circuit is coupled to the switch and the first BIOS.

"In an embodiment of the present invention, the switch is a transistor, wherein a gate of the transistor receives the detecting signal, a first source/drain of the transistor is coupled to first BIOS, and a second source/drain of the transistor is coupled to the connector.

"In an embodiment of the present invention, the switch further include a diode, wherein a cathode of the diode is coupled to the second source/drain of the transistor, and an anode of the diode is coupled to the first source/drain of the transistor.

"In an embodiment of the present invention, the pull-up circuit includes a pull-up resistor serially connected between a first reference voltage and the switch.

"In the present invention, by detecting the coupling state of the external sub-board and the main board of the computer apparatus, the BIOS originally set on the main board or the external input output system of the external sub-board is switched. Therefore, the computer apparatus can add or remove peripherals thereof according to different demands of the user, so as to improve the utilization flexibility of the computer apparatus.

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

For additional information on this patent, see: Fang, Lan-Lan; Liu, Shih-Hao. Computer Apparatus with Switchable Input Output System. U.S. Patent Number 8819400, filed April 7, 2009, and published online on August 26, 2014. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=8819400.PN.&OS=PN/8819400RS=PN/8819400

Keywords for this news article include: Inventec Corporation.

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Source: Computer Weekly News


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