Browse Prior Art Database

DOWNLOADABLE PAGER FUNCTIONALITY

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000006766D
Original Publication Date: 1993-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2002-Jan-30
Document File: 3 page(s) / 147K

Publishing Venue

Motorola

Related People

Gregory L. Cannon: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

The following describes a technology to allow com- puter peripherals to be able to process information di- ferently than originally configured. In particular, com- munications peripherals such as wirelie and rfmodems and pagers, interact with a communication environment and a computational environment such that their roles are often complex. Because of the ever expanding tech- nology of both of these mediums, it is very diicult to build cost effective products that can be flexible with respect to either of these changing mediums. Thus, many peripheral and system providers see these peripherals as black boxes or transparent concerning the informa- tion that needs to be conveyed to or from the computer. Nevertheless, the information format, if not the content is directly tie&d by the communication medium. In some cases for diierent computer configurations, the pc may wish to otlload some processing having to do with the information received or to be transmitted. This technology allows the computer to download execut- able code to a peripheral and have the peripheral per- form that processing on the information to be commu- nicated. This is an improvement over the existing technology of peripherals and a powerful shifl of the computing paradigm. This is becuse as computing plat- forms become more mobile, their power (and thus processing ability) will be constrained, and allowing that processing to be otlloaded on more capable special pur- pose peripherals will be to the end user's advantage.

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MOTOROLA INC. Technical Developments Volume 18 March 1993

DOWNLOADABLE PAGER FUNCTIONALITY

by Gregory L. Cannon, Wm. R. VanDyke, and Douglas M. Stricklin

ABSTRACT

  The following describes a technology to allow com- puter peripherals to be able to process information di- ferently than originally configured. In particular, com- munications peripherals such as wirelie and rfmodems and pagers, interact with a communication environment and a computational environment such that their roles are often complex. Because of the ever expanding tech- nology of both of these mediums, it is very diicult to build cost effective products that can be flexible with respect to either of these changing mediums. Thus, many peripheral and system providers see these peripherals as black boxes or transparent concerning the informa- tion that needs to be conveyed to or from the computer. Nevertheless, the information format, if not the content is directly tie&d by the communication medium. In some cases for diierent computer configurations, the pc may wish to otlload some processing having to do with the information received or to be transmitted. This technology allows the computer to download execut- able code to a peripheral and have the peripheral per- form that processing on the information to be commu- nicated. This is an improvement over the existing technology of peripherals and a powerful shifl of the computing paradigm. This is becuse as computing plat- forms become more mobile, their power (and thus processing ability) will be constrained, and allowing that processing to be otlloaded on more capable special pur- pose peripherals will be to the end user's advantage.

INTRODUCTION

  Almost all of today's peripheral products possess some volatile memory. For larger processors on more expensive peripherals, this volatile memory is large and directly available. However, for many cost sensitive peripherals (the vast majority), the processors are inex- pensive and have just the memory enough to perform their job and buffer incoming and outgoing data. This technology targets these types of peripherals. The basic idea is to build these peripherals with an eye towards changing their processing 'on the fly! Thus, the design

0 Motorola, Inc. 1993

of these peripherals would contain an operating system or at least a simple scheduler that would reserve some processing time for the execution of some downloaded functionality. Since this downloaded functionality could change from time to time, a protocol would be estab- lished to download the code in a consistent and under- standable (to the peripheral) manner.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

  For our particular product, a pager that communi- cates primarily with personal computers, our memory buffer is large but not directly accessible due to the lim- ited accessing power of our central microprocessor. Our internal software now contains several modules to pro- vide for this functionality. We have a scheduler that calls diffe...