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Enabling High Performance Graphics on a Laptop Integrated-LCD through a docking station

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000021315D
Original Publication Date: 2004-Jan-13
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Jan-13
Document File: 2 page(s) / 194K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Many computer users avoid purchasing laptops because of their desire to run the latest video intensive software. These types of video intensive applications put a significant strain on the system and the strain can only be alleviated by a high-performance video card. Generally, these high-performance video cards are uncommon in laptops, yet prevalent amongst desktop computers. However, with the advent of upcoming high speed busses like PCI-Express, it is possible to power a laptop's LCD by muxxing the video signal from a high-performance after-market video card that can be installed inside a docking station. This feature would give laptop users the ability to upgrade their video cards as easily as desktop users provided that they have a docking station.

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Enabling High Performance Graphics on a Laptop Integrated-LCD through a docking station

    Currently, using a high-performance graphics adapter in a docking station requires the use of an external monitor. The attached LCDs on laptops today are high quality and high resolution. An external monitor takes up additional desktop space, and may be lower quality than the display attached to the ThinkPad ® (or other laptop computer). Additionally, the graphics adapters included with laptop computers are not easily upgradeable. This often results in laptops becoming obsolete graphically before the rest of the hardware.

This idea proposes to use an external graphics adapter with the laptop computer's existing LCD display to provide higher quality graphics in 3D environments.

Currently, a user must either have an additional monitor, or use the on-board graphics to drive their LCD in the docking station.

When connected to the docking station, the laptop computer could send unprocessed graphics data across a high bandwidth bus like PCI-express. The digital signals could then be processed by a high quality "desktop" graphics adapter that is inserted into a docking station expansion slot. The processed data would then be fed back through a high bandwidth bus that would in turn be one of the inputs to an onboard video multiplexer.

The video multiplexer would need to autodetect the presence of the extra graphics adapter and route pertinent data accordingly while temporarily disabling the onboard video hardware until the laptop is disconnected from the docking station.

This invention provides the following advantages over the current solutions:
1) Less desktop spa...