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Apple is hit with a patent lawsuit over A7 chip in the iPhone 5S, iPad Air

US university claims Apple pinched its patented processor technology
Tue Feb 04 2014, 15:16
Apple iPad Air with A7 processor

GADGET DESIGNER Apple's iPhone 5S, iPad Air and latest iPad Mini could be in trouble, as a US university has alleged that the firm's 64-bit A7 processor infringes a patent it owns.

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), the patent licensing arm of the University of Wisconsin, has alleged that Apple's A7 chip infringes its US patent 5,781,752, described as "Table based data speculation circuit for parallel processing computer," Patently Apple reported on Monday.

The patent was granted to inventors at the Univerisity in June 1998, and is described as a technology that speeds up a processor while reducing system resource requirements.

The patent description reads, "A predictor circuit permits advanced execution of instructions depending for their data on previous instructions by predicting such dependencies based on previous mis-speculations detected at the final stages of processing."

WARF alleged that this specific technology has been used in Apple's A7 chip, which can be found in the iPhone 5S, iPad Air and the iPad Mini with Retina display. The foundation also claimed that Apple was aware of the patent's existence because it is cited in several newer patents that have been issued to the company.

The University is seeking an injunction to stop Apple from using the technology without proper licensing, and wants monetary damages.

Apple has yet to respond to our request for comment, but potentially the firm could be made to reveal the inner workings of its 64-bit A7 processor, the details which have not been made public. µ

 

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