Browse Prior Art Database

Device Coupler

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000076539D
Original Publication Date: 1972-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-24
Document File: 3 page(s) / 44K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Kreighbaum, LB: AUTHOR

Abstract

The expansion of computer use in the areas of conversational terminal systems, laboratory automation, interactive displays, etc. has produced a demand for structures which are compatible with a computer at one end and capable of coupling to a user's own devices at the other. Disclosed is a device coupler which enables such double-ended coupling and which is system independent.

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Device Coupler

The expansion of computer use in the areas of conversational terminal systems, laboratory automation, interactive displays, etc. has produced a demand for structures which are compatible with a computer at one end and capable of coupling to a user's own devices at the other. Disclosed is a device coupler which enables such double-ended coupling and which is system independent.

The design of the device coupler is essentially modular, to minimize those entities that are computer-specific or device-specific. Such design enables the accommodation of changes in the computer or in the user's devices with minimum replacement required in the device coupler. As a consequence of such design, additional functions can be readily added since complete redesign is not necessary. The device coupler is designed such that it is relatively inexpensive and comprises standard components both electronic and mechanical. It is both an input and an output unit, i.e., it reads from user devices and outputs to devices or displays.

Generally an interface is spoken of as a single entity, since it is often specifically designed for a single purpose and is mechanically packaged in one housing. Actually and logically, an interface consists of at least three portions, viz; a portion which matches a computer's needs, a portion which matches a device's needs, and a "highway" between them. This three-portion concept is illustrated in Fig. 1. In Fig. 1, block 10 illustrates the central processor unit, block 12 illustrates the user device. The interface 14 comprises a stage 16 legended System Specific which matches the central processor's needs, a stage 18 legended Device Specific which matches the user's device needs, and an internal highway 20 interconnecting stages 16 and 18. In this device coupler, the equivalent of highway 20 of Fig. 1 is termed the "interface highway" (IFH). The IFH supports the modularity concept and is capable of providing the support needed for the types of modules by which it will be employed, and it is inexpensive. The device coupler is shown in Fig. 2. In Fig. 2, there are shown five modules, viz; a system coupler module 22, a format module 24, input module (S) 26, output modules (S) 28, and a power supply 30. These modules are all interconnected by an interface highway 32. The system coupler module 22 is the system-specific module. Although this module is shown at the left in Fig. 2, it can be plugged in at any location. In Fig. 3 there is shown a typical implementation of the device coupler of Fig. 2. Thus, the system coupler 34 is one which inte...