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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) / 110K

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...