Browse Prior Art Database

Microcode Control Internal Interface for Printer Operator Panels

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000103843D
Original Publication Date: 1993-Feb-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-18
Document File: 6 page(s) / 223K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Miller, B: AUTHOR [+4]

Abstract

Disclosed is an architecture to implement a common operator panel for printers. Described here is an internal microcode to hardware interface that will allow products with similar panel control hardware to use most of the same microcode to control the panel functions.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 18% of the total text.

Microcode Control Internal Interface for Printer Operator Panels

      Disclosed is an architecture to implement a common operator
panel for printers.  Described here is an internal microcode to
hardware interface that will allow products with similar panel
control hardware to use most of the same microcode to control the
panel functions.

      In some printer products there may be electromagnetic
compatibility (EMC) problems with the amount of data being sent back
and forth between the operator panel and the printer processor.  This
invention uses a microcontroller as part of the operator panel
assembly to decrease the communications activity.  The microcode
architecture works with this hardware arrangement to create a
flexible interface which minimizes the data traffic and modularizes
hardware control separately from functional control of the operator
panel.

      The generic operator panel consists of a Liquid Crystal Display
(LCD), several Light Emitting Diode (LED) discrete in- dicators,
several function keys, and an audible alarm.  The panel control
microcode is divided into subsystems to facilitate its implementation
on the panel microcontroller and printer processor.  A microcode
command interface, consisting of structured fields which are
transmitted between the Panel Manager and Control Services
subsystems, provides controls for all the elements of the generic
panel.  The commands may be utilized individually or combined to
provide the functions required for a specific printer operator panel.

Panel Control Microcode Description

      The panel control microcode is divided into three logical
subsystems.  These are listed below and are visually represented as
Fig. 1.

o   Hardware Services directly control signals and data transfer
    to/from the operator panel (e.g., reads keys, provides current to
    LEDs, directly controls the LCD, etc.).  This microcode may
    reside in a "slave" microcontroller or in the main microprocessor
    (perhaps in conjunction with hardware assistance).

o   Control Services, which debounces keys, transforms the requests
    to/from the main microprocessor into a format acceptable for
    direct hardware control and calls appropriate hardware services
    routines as necessary.  This microcode may also reside either in
    a "slave" microcontroller or in the main microprocessor (perhaps
    in conjunction with hardware assistance).

o   The Panel Manager generates commands that result in the
    appropriate data being displayed, takes appropriate action for
    operator panel keypresses, etc.  This is the main portion of the
    code which controls the overall functionality of the operator
    panel, and it resides in the main microprocessor.  The remainder
    of the microcode (Hardware Services and Control Services) simply

    facilitates the implementation of the functions which are
    specified by the Panel Manager. ...