US8117587 Microcontroller-resident software development environment supporting application-level asynchronous event handling, interactive debugging and pin variables for embedded systems

Isn't this one looking too broad? Or is it silly and harmless enough in using a specific combination of flash memory and the BASIC programming language and so on?

What's novel here? Haven't similar computer systems been developed before? Have we not had general purpose PC's (and dedicated machines) equipped with various I/O ports and cards controlling other devices and/or capturing data? Does every PC with SSD drive, some compilers installed and some devices attached fall under this one?

2 Answers 2


I think the difference between the claim and prior arts are the following:

I) an on-chip event detector which is configured to detect an asynchronous on-chip event specified in the target program during execution of the target program; and

II) trampoline code which is configured to invoke, in response to the event detected by the on-chip event detector, an application-level interrupt handler which handles an interrupt specified for the event by executing a specific portion of the target program;

F) ... at least one pin variable... bound to one of the I/O pins... wherein ... manipulation of each pin variable... configured as an output pin ... will cause a state of the output pin to change correspondingly, and examination of each pin variable ... configured as an input ... will cause a state of the input pin to be detected.

So... the user application can specify some interrupt handler, and an on-chip event detector can detect pin change and automatically execute the interrupt handler.

(II) trampoline code is well known. (F) pin interrupt service is well known. I don't know what event detector is or if it's well known.

A problem I see is that the claim describes a "concept" of a event detector having the ability to execute a particular statement in a user application, but doesn't really teach how it can be implemented.


I am not expert in software patents but i feel they are trying to protect:-

a target microcontroller chip as self-contained development environment includes a compiler which runs entirely in the on-chip memory an application-level interrupt handler an interactive debugger use of “pin variables” bound to the I/O pins of the target microcontroller chip an operating system including a trusted layer which is wholly programmed into the on-chip programmable non-volatile memory.

all in one you should read entire claim 1 and strike out what you find in single object.

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