Browse Prior Art Database

Universal Wireless Connectivity for Portable Computers

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000112122D
Original Publication Date: 1994-Apr-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-26
Document File: 4 page(s) / 106K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Heins, DE: AUTHOR

Abstract

Described is a method and apparatus which allows universal connectivity of personal computers, printers, modems, fax machines, and the like. A desired interface to be used as standard by all portable computing devices comprises two methods of interconnection: 1) via a physical connector; and 2) via radio frequency (RF) or infrared (IR) communication. When a device is to be wireless-connected, either RF or IR transmission, depending upon the environment, for example, is used to communicate with another device. In addition, the media may be broadbanded with auto-seeking of idle channels to establish connection.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 52% of the total text.

Universal Wireless Connectivity for Portable Computers

      Described is a method and apparatus which allows universal
connectivity of personal computers, printers, modems, fax machines,
and the like.  A desired interface to be used as standard by all
portable computing devices comprises two methods of interconnection:
1) via a physical connector; and 2) via radio frequency (RF) or
infrared (IR) communication.  When a device is to be
wireless-connected, either RF or IR transmission, depending upon the
environment, for example, is used to communicate with another device.
In addition, the media may be broadbanded with auto-seeking of idle
channels to establish connection.

      Using the interface, either the portable device or the
communications-connecting device periodically transmits an inquiry
and listens for a response to determine if a compatible device is
within range.  Handshaking is performed so that the usual parameters
of packet-type communications can be passed.  Other characteristics
include low power to reduce interference, data buffering, and a
protocol which allows for busys and retries.  All compatible devices
would be required to adhere to defined protocol (i.e., the particular
RF or IR transmitting frequencies, handshaking, etc.) and provide
data buffering.  Any of the communications media and communications
protocol available can be used for the data exchange once the
wireless-connection is established.

The following is a detailed discussion of the attached block diagram
(Figure):

1.  The operating system in the computer is standard with the
    communications activity routed to the "Presence" communications
    path.

2.  This block contains items such as whether a communications hookup
    is in progress, addresses, statistics, retry parameters, whether
    the hookup is I/R or RF, buffer management data and parameters;
    and all other items that may be unique to this path.  The
    technology could be EPROM, "keep alive" RAM, etc.

3.  The Communications Interface block would contain a program that
    manages the "Presence" technology and interfaces with the
    operating system to provide communications for it.

4.  The buffers block will contain the message queues.

5.  The I/R receive handler block contains that program and hardware
    necessary to receive I/R data handle information unique to I/R
    technology.

6.  The RF receive handler block performs the same duties as the
    previous, except that it is for RF instead.

7....