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Publication numberUS20040093446 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/352,402
Publication dateMay 13, 2004
Filing dateJan 28, 2003
Priority dateNov 12, 2002
Also published asDE10332307A1, DE10332307B4, DE20320853U1, US7010627, US20050044296
Publication number10352402, 352402, US 2004/0093446 A1, US 2004/093446 A1, US 20040093446 A1, US 20040093446A1, US 2004093446 A1, US 2004093446A1, US-A1-20040093446, US-A1-2004093446, US2004/0093446A1, US2004/093446A1, US20040093446 A1, US20040093446A1, US2004093446 A1, US2004093446A1
InventorsChia-Huang Lin
Original AssigneeMitac Technology Corp.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method and apparatus for implementing hot key functions
US 20040093446 A1
Abstract
An apparatus and method for utilizing software to implement hot key functions without an embedded controller. A keyboard with hot keys, a keyboard encoder and a software driver module utilizes a software solution to implement hot key switching and hot key functions in a computer system without an embedded controller, providing the same functionality as a computer system with embedded controller.
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Claims(9)
What is claimed is:
1. An apparatus for utilizing software to implement hot key functions without an embedded controller, in a computer system comprising at least one system BIOS, comprising:
a keyboard with hot keys, comprising at least one hot key;
a keyboard encoder, coupled with the keyboard with hot keys, producing a corresponding scan code according to the hot key used; and
a software driver module, coupled with the keyboard encoder, comprising at least one software program, receiving the scan code from the keyboard encoder, identifying the hot key used according to the scan code and transmitting a system management interrupt to notify the at least one system BIOS.
2. The apparatus for utilizing software to implement hot key functions without an embedded controller as claimed in claim 1, wherein, according to the software driver module, the BIOS initiates a corresponding system service routine to execute the hot key function according to the system management interrupt.
3. The apparatus for utilizing software to implement hot key functions without an embedded controller as claimed in claim 1, wherein the keyboard with hot keys comprises a standard keyboard layout.
4. The apparatus for utilizing software to implement hot key functions without an embedded controller as claimed in claim 1, wherein the keyboard with hot keys comprises a specifically designed keyboard.
5. The apparatus for utilizing software to implement hot key functions without an embedded controller as claimed in claim 1, wherein the software driver module is enabled by computer-executable program language.
6. A method for utilizing software to implement hot key functions without an embedded controller, comprising:
providing a keyboard with hot keys, a keyboard encoder and a software driver module in a computer system without an embedded controller, the keyboard encoder producing a corresponding scan code according to the hot key used, the software driver module comprising at least one software program, for receiving the scan code, identifying the hot key used and transmitting a system management interrupt to notify a system BIOS;
when a hot key is used, the keyboard encoder producing and transmitting a corresponding hot key scan code accordingly;
the software driver module receiving the hot key scan code from the keyboard encoder and identifying the hot key used;
the software driver module transmitting a corresponding system management interrupt to notify a system BIOS according to the hot key scan code; and
the system BIOS initiating the corresponding system service routine to execute the hot key function according to the system management interrupt.
7. The method for utilizing software to implement hot key functions without an embedded controller as claimed in claim 6, wherein the keyboard with hot keys comprises a standard keyboard layout.
8. The method for utilizing software to implement hot key functions without an embedded controller as claimed in claim 6, wherein the keyboard with hot keys comprises a specifically designed keyboard.
9. The method for utilizing software to implement hot key functions without an embedded controller as claimed in claim 6, wherein the software driver module is enabled by computer-executable program language,
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention relates Lo a hot key implementation technology, and in particular to an apparatus and method for utilizing software to implement hot key functions without an embedded controller.

[0003] 2. Description of the Related Art

[0004] Present computer systems utilize embedded controllers to implement hot key switching and hot key functions, such as in notebooks. Nevertheless, in situations, a computer system may not comprise an embedded controller, presenting inconvenience for users who require hot key functions. Unfortunately, designing hardware to specifically implement hot key switching and functions for a computer system without an embedded controller is costly in both research and production.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0005] Accordingly, an object of the invention is to provide an apparatus and method for utilizing software to implement hot key functions without an embedded controller. The invention utilizes software to implement hot key functions for a computer system without an embedded controller, providing the same hot key functions as a computer system with embedded controller. The apparatus and method disclosed by the invention are not costly and can resolve the present problems.

[0006] To achieve the present objects, the invention discloses an apparatus for utilizing software to implement hot key functions without an embedded controller, comprising a keyboard with hot keys, a keyboard encoder, and a software driver module.

[0007] The keyboard with hot keys can be a standard keyboard or a specifically designed keyboard. If the keyboard is a standard keyboard, hot keys can be provided by assigning existing keys on the standard keyboard. If the keyboard with hot keys is a specifically designed keyboard, hot keys can be provided by attaching dedicated keys to a standard keyboard.

[0008] The keyboard encoder is coupled with the keyboard with hot keys and produces corresponding scan code according to the hot key used. When hot keys are used, the keyboard encoder produces and transmits a corresponding scan code. Conventionally, in a computer system with embedded controller, this scan code is received by the embedded controller and identifies the hot key used.

[0009] The software driver module is coupled with the keyboard encoder, comprising at least one software program. The software programs can be provided by any computer-executable program language, such as C, C++.

[0010] The software driver module receives the scan code from the keyboard encoder, identifies the hot key used based on the scan code, and transmits a system management interrupt to notify a system BIOS. The BIOS initiates a system service routine to execute the hot key function according to the system management interrupt.

[0011] In addition, the invention discloses a method for utilizing software to implement hot key functions without an embedded controller. First, a keyboard with hot keys, a keyboard encoder, and a software driver module is provided in a computer system without an embedded controller. The keyboard encoder produces scan code from hot key used. The software driver module includes software programs.

[0012] When hot keys are used, the keyboard encoder produces and transmits a corresponding scan code. The software driver module receives the scan code from the keyboard encoder, identifies the hot key used, and transmits a corresponding system management interrupt to notify a system BIOS.

[0013] The BIOS then initiates a system service routine to execute hot key function according to the system management interrupt, thus enabling hot key functions without an embedded controller.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0014] The present invention can be more fully understood by reading the subsequent detailed description and examples with references made to the accompanying drawings, wherein:

[0015]FIG. 1 is a diagram of the apparatus for utilizing software to implement hot key functions without an embedded controller; and

[0016]FIG. 2 is a flowchart of the method for utilizing software to implement hot key functions without an embedded controller.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0017]FIG. 1 is a diagram of the apparatus for utilizing software to implement hot key functions without an embedded controller. The inventive apparatus comprises a keyboard with hot keys 10, a keyboard encoder 12, and a software driver module 14.

[0018] The keyboard with hot keys 10 can be provided by a standard keyboard or by a specifically designed keyboard. If the keyboard with hot keys 10 is a standard keyboard, hot keys can be provided by assigning existing keys in the standard keyboard layout, such that there are no extra keys required on the keyboard. If the keyboard with hot keys 10 is a specifically designed keyboard, extra keys are disposed on the keyboard for use as hot keys. For example, if the desired function is CD/MP3, a corresponding hot key is disposed on the keyboard, which, when used, enables CD/MP3 function.

[0019] The keyboard encoder 12 is coupled with the keyboard with hot keys 10 and produces a scan code according to the hot key used. When hot keys 10 are used, the keyboard encoder 12 produces and transmits a corresponding scan code. The invention utilizes a software solution to receive the scan code from the keyboard encoder 12 and identify the hot key used based on the scan code.

[0020] The software driver module 14 is coupled with the keyboard encoder 12, comprising software driver programs 16, provided by any computer-executable program language. The software driver module 14 receives the scan code from the keyboard encoder 12 and identifies the hot key used accordingly. After the software driver module 14 identifies the used hot key, it sends the corresponding system management interrupt to notify a system BIOS 18. The BIOS 18 then initiates the corresponding system service routine to execute the hot key function according to the received system management interrupt.

[0021] An given above, the invention utilizes software to implement hot key functions in a computer system without an embedded controller. In the described aspect of the hardware equipment for computer system, the method of the invention requires no costly redesign of hardware. For users, the method of the invention requires no change in operating methods.

[0022]FIG. 2 is a flowchart of the method for utilizing software to implement hot key functions without an embedded controller, according to the invention. First, a keyboard with hot keys, a keyboard encoder, and a software driver module is provided in a computer system without an embedded controller.

[0023] The keyboard with hot keys can be provided by a standard keyboard or a specifically designed keyboard. The keyboard encoder produces a corresponding scan code according to the hot key used. The software driver module includes software driver programs, provided by any computer-executable program language, and receives the hot key scan code, identifies the hot key used, and transmits a system management interrupt to notify a system BIOS.

[0024] When hot keys are used (step S200), the keyboard encoder produces and transmits the corresponding scan code (step S202). The software driver module receives the scan code from the keyboard encoder (step 8204), and identifies the hot key used accordingly (step S206).

[0025] The software driver module transmits the corresponding system management interrupt to notify a system BIOS according to the hot key scan code. The BIOS initiates the corresponding system service routine to execute the hot key function chosen according to the received system management interrupt (step S210).

[0026] For example, in FIG. 2, if the keyboard with hot keys is the specifically designed keyboard, dedicated hot keys are disposed thereon. If the desired function is CD/MP3, a corresponding key is provided on the keyboard, which, when used (step S200), initiates the keyboard encoder to produce corresponding scan code (step S202). The software driver module receives the hot key scan code from the keyboard encoder (step S204) and identifies the hot key used as the CD/MP3 function key (step S206).

[0027] The software driver module transmits the system management interrupt to notify a system BIOS according to the scan code (step S208). The BIOS initiates the system service routine to execute the CD/MP3 function accordingly (step S210).

[0028] Thus, the invention discloses a method and an apparatus for utilizing software to implement hot key functions without an embedded controller. The invention utilizes a software solution to implement hot key switching and hot key functions in a computer system without an embedded controller and provides the same functionality as a computer system with embedded controller, achieving the stated objects.

[0029] While the invention has been described by way of example and in terms of the preferred embodiments, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited to the disclosed embodiments. To the contrary, it is intended to cover various modifications and similar arrangements (as would be apparent to those skilled in the art) Therefore, the scope of the appended claims should be accorded the broadest interpretation so as to encompass all such modifications and similar arrangements.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7581047 *Jan 25, 2005Aug 25, 2009American Megatrends, Inc.Usage of keyboard driver in extensible firmware interface for adding new hot keys at firmware level
US7600105Sep 22, 2004Oct 6, 2009Cyberlink Corp.Systems, methods, and apparatus for providing efficient startup to computers with peripheral devices
US7673161Mar 28, 2006Mar 2, 2010Lenovo (Singapore) Pte. Ltd.Apparatus, system, and method for selecting a waking process
US7996570Jul 31, 2009Aug 9, 2011American Megatrends, Inc.Usage of keyboard driver in extensible firmware interface for adding new hot keys at firmware level
US8650345Oct 30, 2006Feb 11, 2014Microsoft CorporationWeb configurable human input devices
WO2008055011A2 *Oct 19, 2007May 8, 2008Microsoft CorpWeb configurable human input devices
Classifications
U.S. Classification710/67
International ClassificationH03M11/00, G06F3/023, G06F9/44, H03M11/04, H03M11/22, G06F9/445, G06F13/12, G06F3/02
Cooperative ClassificationG06F9/4812, G06F9/4443, G06F3/023
European ClassificationG06F3/023, G06F9/44W
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jan 28, 2003ASAssignment
Owner name: MITAC TECHNOLOGY CORP., TAIWAN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:LIN, CHIA-HUANG;REEL/FRAME:013710/0889
Effective date: 20030122