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Apple tech monitors device aging, adjusts operating parameters to ensure optimal performance

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday issued Apple a patent describing a method of monitoring the aging of a device's electronics, comparing the data with a global average and modifying operating parameters to maximize performance, battery efficiency and user experience over the product's advertised lifetime.

iPhone 5s Teardown
Source: iFixit


Apple's U.S. Patent No. 8,671,170 for "Modifying operating parameters of a device based on aging information" details a system that uses aging detection circuits to monitor electronic components in a portable device such as an iPhone.

By comparing the data with a predefined aging scale, or alternatively the average aging of a given device model collected from other users, operating parameters can be modified to help the product meet its life expectancy, allow greater performance and increase battery life.

Aging
Illustration of aging detection system. | Source: USPTO


A number of metrics are considered when monitoring for device aging, including degradation of transistor performance due to heat and other operating factors. Depending on how a device is used, certain components may age more quickly than the universal average. For example, a product used mainly for gaming may see more stress on graphics and processing circuitry.

To collect the necessary information, the patented technology employs aging detection circuits, which can be ring oscillator or counter type components. For example, aging may be determined by monitoring variations in a ring oscillator's frequency. Thresholds for various device functions, like watching videos and playing games, may be assigned to an aging register.

Aging
Graphic of an aging detection circuit over time.


In some embodiments, the device's power control unit is instructed to adjust supply voltage to a given IC based on information from the aging register. Granular control can be achieved by checking ADC output for certain operating modes, such as Web browsing or reading an e-book.

In addition to ADC readings, environmental considerations are taken into account when monitoring device aging. Information regarding location, time of day, operating frequency, operating intensity, temperature and shaking (in the case of gaming) can all be incorporated into the aging calculation.

The patent also describes a method of collecting aging information from multiple devices to generate statistics for a specific device. Devices may connect via local computer, remote server or other means to transfer the necessary information to an off-site database. Comparing correlated ADC data with environmental information, a general overview of operating parameters can be constructed and applied to future updates.

Aging


As for operating optimization, devices may receive an update once or more per year based on supplied aging information. The modifications can be weighted for life expectancy, higher performance, better battery life and better user experience, among other attributes.

For example, firmware can be modified to allow the device to operate at or above levels that will allow aging to continue at sustainable levels. In other words, the device is made to operate at levels that ensure it can meet its expected lifetime.

The rest of the document offers further detail on ADCs and the statistical models associated with aging registers.

Apple's device aging detection system patent was first filed for in 2011 and credits Michael Frank and Date Jan Willem Noorlag as its inventors.
post #2 of 10

And yet people still pull the “planned obsolescence” card with Apple.

post #3 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

And yet people still pull the “planned obsolescence” card with Apple.

To the tech junkie every iteration of the hardware means the obsolescence of the previous generation. Or add in a software function the previous version can not run due to system requirements.
I'd say Apple and all the other tech vendors do it all the time.
post #4 of 10

Well, I was reading this and then I thought those monkeys in android developers team have something new to play and copy ... then I remembered google doesn't give shit to their customers to upgrade to their latest crappy os anyways!

....the lack of properly optimized apps is one of the reasons "why the experience on Android tablets is so crappy".

Tim Cook ~ The Wall Street Journal - February 7, 2014

Inside Google! 

Reply

....the lack of properly optimized apps is one of the reasons "why the experience on Android tablets is so crappy".

Tim Cook ~ The Wall Street Journal - February 7, 2014

Inside Google! 

Reply
post #5 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Disturbia View Post

Well, I was reading this and then I thought those monkeys in android developers team have something new to play and copy ... then I remembered google doesn't give shit to their customers to upgrade to their latest crappy os anyways!

considering many of those monkeys will also be ios developets as well, its a bit disparaging to them.

For me I dont need anything this patent describes as my tech doesnt reach an age it might be useful. New shiny must have 😃
post #6 of 10

Yeah, the fact that 7.1 was released for a 4 year old phone, and actually makes it FASTER (significantly so in many areas) is evidence that Apple is engaging in "planned obsolescence."  These are the same people that screech about how Apple doesn't release enough phones (1 PHONE A YEAR LOL). 

 

Meanwhile, most Android devices won't get an update released 6 months after launch.  

post #7 of 10

What! No one screeching about how Apple will be collecting information from my phone?? Now back to mapping the chem trails over my house.

"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
Reply
post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

Yeah, the fact that 7.1 was released for a 4 year old phone, and actually makes it FASTER (significantly so in many areas) is evidence that Apple is engaging in "planned obsolescence."

I'm sure you didn't miss the report in early February that said that Apple had resumed production of the iPhone 4 for emerging markets - then, lo and behold, one month later Apple is able to deftly deliver significantly better performance for said iPhone model. This isn't coincidence or Apple doing right by its loyal customers - they couldn't sell a hobbled phone. The speed differences between iOS 6 and 7 on that handset are telling. I swear Apple had to work to make iOS 7 so pokey on the 4.
post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by blurpbleepbloop View Post


I'm sure you didn't miss the report in early February that said that Apple had resumed production of the iPhone 4 for emerging markets - then, lo and behold, one month later Apple is able to deftly deliver significantly better performance for said iPhone model. This isn't coincidence or Apple doing right by its loyal customers - they couldn't sell a hobbled phone. The speed differences between iOS 6 and 7 on that handset are telling. I swear Apple had to work to make iOS 7 so pokey on the 4.

My mom has an iPhone4 with iOS7.0x - it isn't that bad.  7.1 makes it even better.  Sometimes I swear people think that all the new features come for free, and no speed should ever be sacrificed ever even for massively older handsets while also ensuring up-to-date security patches and support for dozens of handsets, oh and snazzy UI glitz. 

 

The rule of computing is, that everything is a tradeoff.

post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by singularity View Post


For me I dont need anything this patent describes as my tech doesnt reach an age it might be useful.

Absolutely, but android users ... you know! ;)

 

 

 

Originally Posted by singularity View Post

New shiny must have 😃
 

LMAO. Yes indeed. ;)

....the lack of properly optimized apps is one of the reasons "why the experience on Android tablets is so crappy".

Tim Cook ~ The Wall Street Journal - February 7, 2014

Inside Google! 

Reply

....the lack of properly optimized apps is one of the reasons "why the experience on Android tablets is so crappy".

Tim Cook ~ The Wall Street Journal - February 7, 2014

Inside Google! 

Reply
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