Scott McNeilly must be getting desperate.
Sun Microsystems, Inc. has filed
United States Patent Application 20060020831
Method and appratus (sic) for power throttling in a multi-thread processor.
Claim 1 reads as follows:
1. A method for controlling power consumption in a processor, the method comprising: fetching instructions to be executed in a processor pipeline; issuing the instructions to be executed in the processor pipeline; executing the instructions in the processor pipeline; and inputting M stalls into the pipeline every N instruction cycles, based on a power management inputwherein M and N are integer values and wherein M is less than N.
As far as the IdeaCop(tm) can determine the only inventive aspect of this 'idea' may be the novel use of the word 'stall.'
We would have and, in fact have, called it a pause when we used such techniques a thousand times in programming code, but what do we know?
Then again, perhaps they are just making amens for the misspelling of apparatus in the title?
We are relieved, however, that SUN recognized that M must be less than N, else the thing would likely not work at all but we suppose that the claim would not have been complete without that limitation.
WAIT! If we could just get it to work with M>N, perhaps we really would have something interesting!
The IdeaCop(tm) is not known for, nor knows much about, pausing nor resting, so it may be that this is indeed a valuable, new, useful and unobvious invention, but in the event that one or more of our readers feels differently, they are encouraged to explore the potentially material references contained in the attached file and/or post their own references, to STOP THIS PATENT INSANITY!
Or better yet, contact SUN's Attorney (in this case, Patent Agent) on this matter
MEYERTONS, HOOD, KIVLIN, KOWERT & GOETZEL, P.C.
The Chase Building
700 Lavaca, Suite 800
Austin, Texas 78701-3102