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Method for a 1-to-4 IDE device multiplexer

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000016701D
Publication Date: 2003-Jul-09
Document File: 4 page(s) / 66K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a method for a 1-to-4 IDE device multiplexer. Benefits include improved functionality and improved usability.

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Method for a 1-to-4 IDE device multiplexer

Disclosed is a method for a 1-to-4 IDE device multiplexer. Benefits include improved functionality and improved usability.

Background

        � � � � � Conventionally, to change the IDE device configuration on a computer, such as from a hard drive to a CD-ROM, the cables and screws are manually disconnected. This process hinders automation. The process also wears out the connectors on the devices.

Description

        � � � � � The disclosed method is a multiplexer that enables the connection of one to four IDE-format devices (see Figure 1). The method is comprised of several components (see Figure 2):

•        � � � � IDE interface unit

•        � � � � Control unit

•        � � � � Display unit

•        � � � � Slot selection unit

•        � � � � Power supply unit

        � � � � � The IDE interface unit is connected to an IDE channel on the motherboard. The unit is also connected to a maximum of four pairs of IDE devices. Each pair of IDE devices is called a slot.

        � � � � � The control unit consists of a Basic Stamp 2P (BS2p) processor that is programmed to control other electronic components.

        � � � � � The display unit consists of a LCD that is serially controlled by the BS2p processor to report status.

        � � � � � The slot selection unit consists of two push buttons for manual slot selection and a serial port for program-driven slot selection.

        � � � � � The power supply unit provides a regulated +5 VDC and –5 VDC for the electronic components.

        � � � � � The typical usage model has four pairs (slots) of IDE devices exist in a master-slave configuration and one connection to an IDE channel on the motherboard of the target machine. The goal is to connect each of the four slots, one at a time, to an IDE channel of the target machine with negligible signal loss and delay. The target machine should function as if the IDE devices were directly connected to its IDE channel.

        � � � � � The user can active each slot either by using the slot-select push button or by sending the appropriate commands through the serial port. When a slot is selected, the disclosed method shuts down the target machine, switches to the active slot, and then turns on the target’s p...