Abstract: The invention is a method and apparatus for the thermal management of computers. The method features determining a temperature of a predetermined location in the computer, reading indirect inputs of the computer, determining desired states of cooling options based on the temperature and the indirect inputs, and placing the cooling options in their desired states. To determine the desired states of the cooling options, an index is formed based on the indirect inputs; and the index indicates to which of a plurality of tables of desired states of the cooling options to refer. Alternatively, the desired states of the cooling options are determined by adjusting the value of the temperature input based on the indirect inputs; the desired states of the cooling options also are dependent on the adjusted value of the measured temperature.
Abstract: A parking meter contains both optical detection elements, to detect the presence and the diameter of inserted coins, and conventional coils which are inductively coupled to a passing coin and which load a RF oscillator. The optical detection information is used to control the sampling of the frequency of the oscillators which are loaded by the metal in the falling coins. This provides a synergistic way to combine optical detection with electromagnetic detection to achieve compact recognition templates which readily perform difficult discrimination. Addition of a temperature compensation algorithm makes the resulting system extraordinarily insensitive to temperature-dependent variation in the permeability of a falling coin.
Abstract: A password-phrasing security mechanism utilizing personalized challenge phrasing to prompt the user into remembering a pre-defined personalized coded phrase to gain access to a secured system.
Abstract: A graphics processing chip which uses a deep pipeline of multiple asynchronous units to achieve a high net throughput in 3D rendering. Preferably reads and writes to a local buffer are provided by separate stages of the pipeline. Preferably some of the individual units include parallel paths internally. Preferably some of the individual units are connected to look ahead by more than one stage, to keep the pipeline filled while minimizing the use of expensive deep FIFOs.
Abstract: A control circuit for the regulation of fan speed control in a computer power supply with software controlled shutdown and automatic restart for over-temperature protection. The control circuit overrides the control inputs when the temperature inputs indicate a temperature above a specific level.
Abstract: A method for charging nickel metal hydride and comparable batteries, in which the applied voltage is clamped to a temperature-dependent and current-dependent value which is greater than the constant voltage during most of the charging cycle, but less than any voltage at which gassing can occur.
Abstract: A sealed rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack which includes a switching voltage regulator. The regulator uses the normal cutoff transistors as the switching devices, and also includes a discrete inductor in the battery pack. The regulator is operated with programmable voltage and current parameters, under control of a microcontroller which is also inside the sealed battery pack enclosure.
June 30, 1997
Date of Patent:
January 25, 2000
Compaq Computer Corporation
Nathan Mitchell, Joseph F. Freiman, Thomas Sawyers
Abstract: An improved system and method for FLASH BIOS upgrades which is particularly useful in network hubs. Each hub or node which is equipped with a FLASH memory is also equipped with a validation system, which ensures that a received FLASH upgrade is authorized and uncorrupted. Each set of instructions to be flashed is marked both with a vendor authorization digital signature and also a system administrator authorization digital signature, and BOTH digital signatures must be recognized by the validation system before the FLASH memory will be upgraded. Because digital signatures are used for security purposes, flash upgrades can be performed from any location on the network, and are not limited to an administrative node.
Abstract: A snubber circuit with two switches which are switched together. The two switches form a pair of active networks with complementary diode locations, and a capacitor is connected to provide a path for transient current through both diodes. The two switches are preferably switched simultaneously to minimize conduction losses. When Switches S1 and S2 are turned off, the voltage through across capacitor Cs is nearly zero. Turning off S1 and S2 causes current flowing through S1 and S2 to be diverted through D1, Cs, and D2. Therefore, the voltage across S1 and S2 is a very low value and consequently, the turn-off losses are low. Alternatively, at the time when S1 and S2 are turned on, the peak current through S1 and S2 is equal to the boost inductor current. Therefore switching losses are minimized and the converter can operate at higher frequencies.
Abstract: A portable computer and docking station combination, comprising first and second batteries and first and second battery charging circuit portions, with automatic sequencing of charging between the batteries. The system includes means for charging a first battery based on an amount of current flowing into the computer circuitry, and means for charging a second battery based on an amount of current flowing into the first battery and into the computer circuitry.
Abstract: A system and process for power conservation in a portable computer system. When the application or hardware in use allows for reduced video performance, the refresh rate of the video graphics controller is reduced to a level which allows practical use of the display but consumes much less power than a normal mode.
Abstract: A fast boot computer which has three user-selectable modes of performing POST operations. The user can select full POST or quick POST be performed, as in conventional computers. However, he can also select an intermediate mode, wherein the full POST is performed if and only if a given number of days (as programmed by the user) have elapsed since the last full POST operation. This permits users to set their own trade-off between fast boot operation and maximum reliability.
March 5, 1998
Date of Patent:
November 2, 1999
Compaq Computer Corporation
Paul J. Broyles, Mark A. Piwonka, Cuong V. Nguyen
Abstract: A battery pack which contains an integral bidirectional up/down voltage converter, so that the voltage of the battery does not have to match the voltage of the system power lines at all. Thus a single battery pack can be used in different systems which have different power bus voltages.
Abstract: A universal battery pack which contains an integral DC-DC switching power converter, with an asymmetric ripple-suppression topology which suppresses ripple at the power output terminals during discharging.
Abstract: A standardized and universal application-specific language for operation of any battery type where measured values of voltage, current, temperature, and/or power are used to control battery operation to optimize battery life, and prevent damage to the battery and the system in which it resides.
Abstract: A method for fan-folding lithium-ion-polymer battery cells, wherein gaps are left in the active material at fold locations of the metallic backing conductor. This avoids fatigue at the fold locations when the active materials expand and contract during charge and discharge.
Abstract: A method of determining an object's position and associated apparatus provides positional information in a form that may be conveniently communicated to a computer to calculate the object's position. In a preferred embodiment, representatively incorporated in a computer keyboard, a method of determining an object's position includes forming an optical grid of reflected beacons and detecting an obstruction of the reflected beacons. The preferred embodiment apparatus utilizes a single light source and a single light sensor to detect an object's position in two dimensions.
March 20, 1997
Date of Patent:
June 1, 1999
Compaq Computer Corporation
Richard M. Knox, John R. Masters, Kevin F. Clancy
Abstract: A portable computer system which includes a modified C-7 power cord socket, which can receive either an AC power cord with a standard C-7 connector or a DC power cord with a modified C-7 connector. (However, the modified C-7 connector cannot be inserted into a standard C-7 socket.) Microswitches in the modified power cord socket detect the presence of the DC connector, and automatically adjust the power conversion circuit accordingly.
Abstract: A description is given of two versions of an integrated structure in the emitter switching configuration comprising a high-voltage bipolar power transistor and a low-voltage MOS power transistor. In the vertical MOS version, the emitter region of the bipolar transistor is completely buried, partly in a first N- epitaxial layer and partly in a second N- epitaxial layer; the MOS is located above the emitter region. The bipolar is thus a completely buried active structure. In the horizontal MOS version, in a N- epitaxial layer there are two P+ regions, the first, which constitutes the base of the bipolar transistor, receives the N+ emitter region of the same transistor; the second receives two N+ regions which constitute the MOS source and drain regions, respectively; the front of the chip is provided with metal plating to ensure the connection between the MOS drain and the bipolar emitter contacts.