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Browse Prior Art Database

Graphics Congestion Control System for Store Systems

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000014776D
Original Publication Date: 2000-Jul-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-20
Document File: 8 page(s) / 62K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Disclosed is a system to solve the problem of severe network congestion that occurs in retail stores as a result of processing large advertising graphical images on the POS(Point Of Sale) systems. The disclosed system solves the problem of maintaining POS sale transaction performance and allowing increased network bandwidth to be used for

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Graphics Congestion Control System for Store Systems

Disclosed is a system to solve the problem of severe network congestion that occurs in

retail stores as a result of processing large advertising graphical images on the

POS(Point Of Sale) systems. The disclosed system solves the problem of maintaining

POS sale transaction performance and allowing increased network bandwidth to be used for

the display of the graphical images. Disclosed is a graphical bandwidth management system

that is integrated into the customer's network hub. In the disclosed solution, all graphics data

is transported off of the store LAN(Local Area Network) to an internal Graphics Support

Manager residing in the network hub. This enables the store's normal business transactions

to occur regardless of the amount of network graphical data that is being displayed on the

store systems. In effect, the Graphics Support Manager acts as a dedicated LAN, internal to

the network hub, and provides dedicated bandwidth for the graphical data used in the store.

In the current state of the art, there are several POS systemsthat display graphical

advertising images on a full screen display during the processing of a sales transaction.

As the POS systems user interfaces become more graphical in nature, these graphical

images now place an increased demand on the Store System Local Area Network. By

referring to graphical images, I mean gifs, jpegs, bitmaps, streaming video, audio, etc.

Consider the following example, where a store has 20 lanes with each terminal

in each of the lanes displaying two graphical images per 5 seconds on the

terminal. With an example gif image size of approximately 1 megabytes, it is easy to see the

burden that the display of graphics images places on the typical 10 mbps Ethernet LAN.

Background information on Ethernet LANs:

- Experience has shown that the effective bandwidth of a 10mbps(megabits per second) Ethernet LAN is 3 to 5mbps because of the characteristics of the CSMA/CD (Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Detection) architecture.

The flooding of the additional graphical images introduced by these new POS systems applications only exacerbates the problem.

- The example above, has 4 Megabytes/second compared to the maximum Ethernet bandwidth of 1.25 Megabytes/second.

These numbers indicate that there are potentially a large number of collisions

which ultimately results in congestion and delays in the system.

It is easy to see that there will be problems with the POS applications that checkout items and process credit card payments, run back office accounting functions, mirror backup copies of files, and run reports, as they now contend with the increased amount of graphical data that is now flowing over the same store systems LAN. Existing store controllers will become burdened with this additional amount of network traffic.

A problem currently exists, in that the current designs of the new

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POS graphical applications

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