Invented by Colin Whitby-Strevens, Sreeraman Anantharaman, Apple Inc
The Market For Apparatus to Virtual Channel Allocation Via High Speed Bus Interface
The market for Apparatus to Virtual Channel Allocation via High Speed Bus Interface is being driven by the need for a system on chip (SoC) processor that can manage multiple fixed sensor devices. Unlike traditional solutions which rely on an intelligent source device to administer a network of devices, the present disclosure focuses on managing nodes inside consumer electronics devices through a sink node.
The market for Apparatus to Virtual Channel Allocation via High Speed Bus Interface consists of devices for transmitting and receiving data within an audio/visual (A/V) device, as well as networks of such electronic components. This sector is driven by a desire for improved functionality, performance and lower power consumption.
Examples of such devices include camera sensors and concentrators, as well as system on chip (SoC) processors. These components use a modified high speed protocol like DisplayPort Multi-Stream Transport (MST) to process camera sensor data through virtual channels.
Traditional solutions required the source device to manage a network of devices. However, this paradigm is ineffective due to limited capabilities of some components within the device, such as camera sensors. Instead, a simplified “smart sink” approach is employed for managing this internal network of consumer electronics components.
One example of such a smart sink is an A/V apparatus with multiple camera sensors and concentrators connected to a simplified SoC processor (known as the sink node). The SoC processor manages virtual channel allocations for these devices in conjunction with a map identifying payload time slots on each virtual channel.
The map uniquely identifies both stream symbol sequences generated by source devices and VC payload fill (VCPF) symbols provided by concentrators. These VCPF symbol sequences are then mapped to virtual channel payload time slots through a mapping data structure which determines how these timeslots are unpacked and transmitted from the sink node.
Mapping data is used to configure the sink node’s resources according to a newly configured configuration that was received from the sink node. This communication may consist of an update request designed to identify an amount of resources and map one or more data types to these resources.
The market for Apparatus to Virtual Channel Allocation via High Speed Bus Interface is driven by the need to network various internal components in an electronic device. Consumer electronics devices with multiple camera sensors use a modified high-speed protocol to process sensor data through one or more virtual channels, while traditional solutions rely on smart source devices which often lack processing power.
Due to this, the full suite of DisplayPort and other protocols may not be necessary or suitable for certain design scenarios. Furthermore, simplifying the protocol could improve performance on controllers with limited capabilities.
In one exemplary embodiment of the disclosure, a system-on-chip (SoC) processor couples an easy-to-use source node as a camera assembly to a network composed of multiple camera sensors and concentrators. This camera assembly is programmed to organize sensor data into time slots (virtual channels) according to a table.
Another exemplary embodiment, a payload bandwidth manager of the concentrator is configured to direct upstream packets from the camera device directly into the SoC for setting up a virtual channel. Furthermore, its stream symbol sequence generator generates a Virtual Channel Payload Fill (VCPF) symbol sequence in order to fill any remaining virtual channel packet time slots without being assigned to a stream symbol sequence.
Figure 2 illustrates an exemplary scenario in which a system-on-chip processor links multiple cameras to a network 200 via I2C control bus, or “octet,” of the system. The first SoC processor 202 is connected to camera sensor 204A; a second SoC processor 202 attaches itself to sensor 204B; and finally, third SoC processor 202 attaches itself to sensor 204C.
The market for Apparatus to virtual channel allocation via high speed bus interface is facing numerous obstacles. One major difficulty is that current solutions rely on intelligent source devices to manage a network of devices, which may prove challenging for consumer electronic items with limited capabilities (e.g., camera sensors). Another challenge is that technologies like DisplayPort were intended for use in a “smart source” paradigm; however, these devices are often adapted for use as “smart sinks.” In such cases, having all of the protocol capabilities may not be necessary. In the present disclosure, additional simplifications have been disclosed that may enhance performance on sink nodes with limited capabilities. Thus, there is a potential to develop innovative methods and apparatus that address market issues associated with existing solutions.
The market for Apparatus to Virtual Channel Allocation via High Speed Bus Interface is currently untapped. Traditional solutions for networking A/V devices based on DisplayPort, HDMI or other standardized protocols rely on a smart source device to manage the network of devices. Unfortunately, many consumer electronics devices lack the full suite of capabilities associated with DisplayPort protocols. In certain situations, having all the features may not be necessary; certain further disclosed simplifications improve performance on controllers with limited capabilities, particularly those equipped with fewer cameras and other sensors. The present disclosure addresses these needs by providing methods and apparatus for mapping one or more data to one or more virtual channel allocations within an electronic device.
The Apple Inc invention works as followsMethods, apparatus and methods for virtual channel allocation within electronic devices. One exemplary embodiment of the device includes multiple camera sensors. It uses a modified high speed protocol (e.g. DisplayPort Multistream Transport (MST protocol)) to process data from one or more cameras via one or several virtual channels. The present disclosure, which is in contrast to traditional solutions that rely on an intelligent source device for managing a network device, describes in one aspect a network nodes within a consumer electronics device that are managed by the sink (i.e., a smart sink). Certain further simplifications are also disclosed to improve performance for sink devices with very limited capabilities, as the full protocol suite (e.g. DisplayPort) is not required for certain design scenarios.
Background for Apparatus to virtual channel allocation via high speed bus interface
The disclosure is general in nature and applies to audio/visual (A/V), consumer electronics devices as well as networks therein. In one aspect, the disclosure relates to apparatus and methods for virtual channel allocation on A/V interfaces.
Incipient research is aimed at leveraging DisplayPort technology to support internal consumer electronics device operations. (e.g. bus interfaces, etc.). Modifications to the DisplayPort control system are required for a variety of implementation-specific reasons. Some internal components, such as camera modules, may not have sufficient processing capability to conform to DisplayPort bus protocols, including virtual channel allocation. Others aspects of the DisplayPort protocol could be “over-designed” or offer capabilities that are not necessary.
Accordingly improved methods and apparatus are required to support internal consumer electronics devices operations using DisplayPort technology (such virtual channel allocation). A variety of apparatus and methods are required to network internal components in a consumer electronic device.
The present disclosure addresses the above-mentioned needs by providing methods and apparatus for networking. This includes virtual channel allocation on A/V interfaces.
First, a method is disclosed for virtual channel allocation within an electronic device (consumer). One embodiment of the method involves: discovering one or several sensors (e.g. camera sensors); transmitting an update request to a first sensor in the network. The update request is configured to prompt the first sensor determine the amount of resources and map one or more resources to them; and finally transmitting an indication (e.g. an allocation change trigger), which causes the first sensor (or any other sensor) to map the data to resources according the mapping.
Secondly, a method is disclosed for virtual channel allocation within devices (e.g., consumer electronic devices). One embodiment of the method involves: discovering one or several nodes; sending an update request to one node; the update request configured for responsively causing the node determine an amount of resources, and to map one or multiple data to resources; and finally, transmitting an allocation change trigger, which is configured to trigger the node’s mapping.
An apparatus that allocates one or more virtual channels within an electronic device” is also disclosed.
Further disclosed is an apparatus that maps one or more data to one of the virtual channel allocations within an electronic gadget.
An apparatus that is non-transitory and computer-readable is also disclosed.” One embodiment of the apparatus comprises a medium containing instructions that, when executed by processors, cause electronic devices to allocate one or several virtual channels.
An additional disclosure is made relates to a system that allocates one or more virtual channels within an electronic device.
A content capture system is disclosed in one aspect of the current disclosure. One embodiment of the content capture system comprises: a camera device that can generate one or several DisplayPort multistream transport (MTP), channel packets; a System on a Chip, which is capable of receiving the one or two DisplayPort MTP channels packets and communicating with the camera via an auxiliary channel or a MTP channel. One such variant of the SoC includes the following: instruct the camera to power on the device via an auxiliary channel; ask the camera to update the payload table via the auxiliary channels; poll the device to determine if the payload table has been modified; then instruct the device via the MTP channel to send an allocation change trigger to the camera; and, upon receiving the allocation change trigger, instruct the device to initiate video transmission. One variant of the camera device allows it to: Calculate a payload bandwidth number using the instruction to update a payload allocation table; allocate sufficient time slots on MTP channels to a content paymentload; receive instructions via the auxiliary channel to send the Allocation Change Trigger via the MTP Channel; and initiate video transmission via MTP channel upon receipt of the instruction.
In one variant, an inter-integrated circuit bus (I2C), is used as the auxiliary channel.
In another variation, the MTP channels comprises a communication protocol using 1024 MIT packets. Each MTP channel packet of MTP channel packets contains 64 time division multiplexed timingslots. One such example is that a plurality MTP channels packets of MTP packets contain an MTP header at one of the 64 time-division multiplexed timeslots. The allocation change trigger is sent via MTP channel in MTP header of a second plurality MTPchannel packets.
In one implementation, a command is issued by the SoC to synchronize a Payload Time Slot allocation between the camera device and a plurality other devices that are configured to generate DisplayPort MTP channel packets via the auxiliary channel. Sometimes, the command to synchronize a payload slot allocation includes a PAYLOAD_ALLOCATE_SET command.
Another exemplary variant of the system contains a concentrator. The concentrator acts as an intermediary between camera device and SoC. Further, the SoC can be configured to tell the concentrator to update the second payload allocation tables when the first one has been updated. One example of the system’s components is a second camera. The concentrator links the second camera to the SoC. One such example is where the concentrator can, upon receiving the allocation change trigger from a camera device, raise an interruption to the SoC to indicate receipt.
A payload bandwidth manager is another example that directs upstream packets from a camera device to the SoC. This assists in the establishment of a virtual channel which includes transport of multiple packets, each with a plurality time slots over the multistream transport channel. Other examples allow the concentrator to transmit a stream symbol series generated by the camera via a virtual packet time slot. It can also generate a fill symbol sequential to fill in another channel packet slot that was not allocated to the stream symbols sequence.
In certain variants, the SoC can control all communications between it and the camera device.
A method of virtual channel allocation within an electronic device network that includes one or more source nodes as well as a sink node is disclosed. One embodiment of the method involves: discovering one or more source nosdes within the network by the Sink node; transmitting, via the Sink node, a communication with a first source node; and causing that first node to configure resources in accordance with the communication.Click here to view the patent on Google Patents.