BAE Systems has filed a patent for an apparatus that allows access to registers of a central processing unit in a line replaceable unit (LRU) without opening the housing. The apparatus can receive write or read packets from an external device, relay them to the LRU, and transmit state information back to the external device. It can be used for firmware updates, diagnostics, or testing. The apparatus includes a small-form factor connector, a CAN or USB interface, and a processor. GlobalData’s report on BAE Systems gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s company profile on BAE Systems, AR/VR head-up displays was a key innovation area identified from patents. BAE Systems's grant share as of June 2023 was 1%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

An apparatus for accessing registers of a central processing unit

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office(USPTO). Credit: BAE Systems Plc

A recently filed patent (Publication Number: US20230204665A1) describes an apparatus that includes a small-form factor connector capable of receiving a fiber optic cable. This apparatus can be connected to a unit under testing (UUT) via the fiber optic cable. Additionally, the apparatus features a control area network (CAN) interface or a universal serial bus (USB) interface, allowing it to connect to an external device through either of these interfaces.

The apparatus also includes a processor that is configured to receive a plurality of register addresses for registers in a central processing unit (CPU) of the UUT from the external device via the CAN or USB interface. This allows the processor to set up a reading of the corresponding registers in the CPU. The processor then relays the register addresses to the CPU through the fiber optic cable. Periodically, the processor receives state information corresponding to each of the register addresses, with the period being less than or equal to the analog to digital conversion time of an analog to digital converter (ADC) in the UUT.

Furthermore, the apparatus may include a plurality of digital-to-analog converters (DACs) coupled to the processor, as well as a plurality of analog output interfaces. Each analog output interface is connected to a corresponding DAC and can be connected to a second external device. The processor can cause the state information corresponding to a subset of the register addresses to be output to the second external device through the analog output interfaces when it receives the subset of register addresses from the external device.

The processor in the apparatus can also receive firmware updates for the UUT from the external device via the CAN or USB interface. These firmware updates are associated with one or more register addresses, and the processor relays the updates to the UUT through the fiber optic cable to write them to the corresponding register addresses. Additionally, the processor can receive write commands for one or more registers of the CPU from the external device and relay these commands to the UUT through the fiber optic cable to write to the specified register addresses.

Overall, this patent describes an apparatus that enables efficient communication and control between an external device and a unit under testing, such as a power inverter. The use of fiber optic cables, CAN or USB interfaces, and a processor allows for the exchange of register addresses, state information, firmware updates, and write commands, facilitating testing and diagnostic processes.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.