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New Apple Patent 32-bit To 64-bit...


Teddy Rogers

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Is this one of the dumbest patents? It continues the mockery of "innovators" protecting their ideas...

An Apple patent (number 20080034194) for a method and apparatus for using a 32-bit operating system kernel to support 64-bit applications has appeared at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. It relates to operating systems and, more specifically, to a method and an apparatus to use a 32-bit operating system kernel to support 64-bit applications in addition to legacy 32-bit applications.

Apple says that one embodiment of the present invention provides a system that uses an M-bit operating system (OS) kernel to support N-bit user processes. During operation, the system receives an exception. Note that the exception can be any event that needs to be handled by executing OS kernel code. Specifically, the exception can be a hardware interrupt, a software interrupt, an asynchronous interrupt, a synchronous interrupt, a signal, a trap, or a system call. Next, the system handles the exception by first switching the processor to the M-bit mode, and then executing M-bit OS kernel code which is designed to handle the exception. Note that the processor may primarily be designed to operate in the N-bit mode; the M-bit mode may primarily be provided for backward compatibility reasons.

The inventors are Christopher G. Peak, Martin Scheinberg and Joseph Sokol. The graphic below illustrates a computer system in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

KernelPatent.jpg

Ted.

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