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Various Apple patents have appeared at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office showing that the company is working on ways to improve power management and sound on a range of devices.
Patent number 81717322 is for portable electronic devices with power management capabilities. Per the patent, an electronic device may operate in standby and active modes. A headset may be coupled to the electronic device. The electronic device may have audio codec circuitry. The audio codec circuitry may use general purpose input-output circuitry in handling button and headset activity during active mode. Processing circuitry may be used to reconfigure the audio codec in real time.
When the electronic device is in the standby mode and activity is detected, the codec may be configured to provide an interrupt signal to a power management unit that wakes the device. When the electronic device is in active mode and no user inputs are received within a given period of time, the central processor in the electronic device may place the device in standby mode. The inventors are Hugo Fiennes, Michael Victor Yeh and Xingqun Li.
Apple has been granted patent 8170623 for a charging arrangement for electronic devices. It's for an arrangement for charging an electronic accessory (such as a wireless headset) using a docking station that obtains power from at least one of a power port and a data port of an attached electronic device (such as the pairing cellular phone).
The docking station provides mechanical support and a convenient storage arrangement for the electronic accessory, as well as power conditioning. In another embodiment, the charging and storage functions for the electronic accessory are provided by a cigarette lighter plug employed to charge the electronic device. The inventors are Jesse Dorogusker, Donald J. Novotney, Nicholas Robert Kalayjian, John G. Tang, Emery Sanford and Evans Hankey.
Two other patents show that Apple is working on ways to improve the sound quality in its entire product line.
Patent number 817266 involves portable computer speaker grill structures on Mac laptops. A speaker grill structure may be formed by creating an array of small holes (perforations) in a portable computer housing structure such as a planar housing wall. A speaker may be mounted adjacent to the array of holes. The planar housing wall may be formed in a block of milled aluminum and may have a thickness of less than 1 mm. The speaker holes may have with small diameters without overly attenuating sound from a speaker. The inventors are Ron Hopkinson, John Raff, Bartley K. Andre, Chris Ligtenberg and Ruchi Goel.
Patent number 8167625 is for an integrated noise reduction connector. Per the patents, an electrical connector comprising an insulative body, a plurality of pins carried by the body and a ferromagnetic element that rides on one of the plurality of the pins. The ferromagnetic element provides a low pass filter capability for signals transmitted over the one pin. Anna-Katrinia Shedletsky is the inventor.