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Apple's A7 processor comes under patent infringement lawsuit

Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation claims Apple's A7 processor infringes on one of its patents (NASDAQ:AAPL)
| Business, Financial & Legal News | Posted: Feb 4, 2014 12:27 pm

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, or WARF, has launched a lawsuit against Apple. WARF's lawsuit alleges that the iPhone maker infringes on a patent held by the University of Wisconsin - Madison, US Patent No. 5,781,752.




The patent in question was granted on July 14, 1998 to four university researchers specializing in microprocessor architecture. The patent is dubbed "Table Based Data Speculation Circuit for Parallel Processing Computer". The scientists' circuit, is a predictor which streamlines microprocessor performance by accurately forecasting dependencies of current instructions on previous instructions.


In non-scientist speak, it speeds up the processor, while lowing required system resources by accurately guessing which earlier instructions will match the new input, and start the desired action before the user has finished entering in the command. This is known as brand prediction in other circles. WARF is now alleging that the A7 chip uses this same specific technology that was developed in Madison.


Where the scientists have Apple, is that the company actually cites the patent itself. For Apple to defend itself, it will most likely have to reveal the inner workings of its A7 processor, which is a guarded secret to the company. WARF wants an unspecified sum of money, legal fees taken care of, an an injunction to see Apple obtain, or at least lease the license from the patent holders, or stop making A7-based devices - this includes the iPhone 5S, iPad mini and iPad Air.


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