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Browse Prior Art Database

Smart Configuration Unit

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000115919D
Original Publication Date: 1995-Jul-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-30
Document File: 2 page(s) / 111K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Beer, R: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

While modular approach to design provides a flexible and economical approach to the requirement for different configurations of a product, it brings with it problems of its own. For example, a product may have a power and cooling system based around three power and cooling assemblies. The three power units are configured such that one supplies each of two halves of the product through separate dual power paths. The third unit supplies redundant power to both halves with its output split between the dual paths. For a full configuration product, all fans are needed and run together at slow speed. Should one fail, then the remaining two sense the failure and speed up to maintain the required airflow.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 49% of the total text.

Smart Configuration Unit

      While modular approach to design provides a flexible and
economical approach to the requirement for different configurations
of a product, it brings with it problems of its own.  For example, a
product may have a power and cooling system based around three power
and cooling assemblies.  The three power units are configured such
that one supplies each of two halves of the product through separate
dual power paths.  The third unit supplies redundant power to both
halves with its output split between the dual paths.  For a full
configuration product, all fans are needed and run together at slow
speed.  Should one fail, then the remaining two sense the failure and
speed up to maintain the required airflow.

      In the product, not all the power and cooling units are always
present.  For modularity of design, it is necessary to offer
configurations which are not burdened by cost of unnecessary
components, implying configurations where either one, two or three
power and cooling units might be in the product together with a
corresponding number of devices supported.

      The problem is to provide a configuration handler that can
provide the necessary sense signal to prevent invalid error
indication and maintain the correct fan speeds.  The unit further
needs to detect invalid configurations and take appropriate action to
notify the user and protect the assembly.

      The final problem involved is cost.  Because the need for this
is in a depopulated unit, the additional cost is extremely sensitive
and needs to be kept to the minimum.

      The configuration unit described below addresses these problems
by replacing a missing power and cooling assembly and providing all
the sense and control needed to maintain full operation of the
product.

      In the entry configuration, only one power and fan assembly is
needed to power and cool up to four devices in positions 1 to 4 in
the front of the unit.  The position of the devices is important to
this configuration as in the available positions 5 to 8, there would
be insufficient cooling.  With this configuration, two fan sense
lines are missing and there is no power on the redundant path.
Devices 1 to 4 would sense this and being programmed to interpret the
loss of two fans as a critical fault, would close down operation.
The configuration unit therefore provides good status for the missing
fans and also bleeds power from the primary supply onto redundant
power path.  The single fan operates at normal speed and the device
carrier checkers see good status on all inputs and function normally.
Should a power failure occur, clearly all units fail but should the
single fan fail, the devices would see this as a redundant failure
and continue operation.  The configuration unit therefore interprets
this failure and forces one of the simulate fan sense lines to also
indicate bad status.  In this way, the device sees a critical fault
and sh...